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LETTERS OF 
FANNY BRAWNE 
TO 

FANNY KEATS 

[; 1820-18243 



OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 
AMEN HOUSE, E C 4 
LoEdoE Edmburgh Glasgow New York 
Toronto Melbourne Capetown Bombay 
Calcutta Madras 
HUMPHREY MILFORD 

PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY 




^aruiy ^^Tuurnc 

tkt art^utal rnuwatur^ m 4Ae /ym^e^sion 
of hcr^4XU7dclau^kUj-^ 4lr-s OswaU iUiu 


LETTERS OF 

FANNY BRAWNE 

TO 

FANNY KEATS 

[^ 1820 - 1824 ^ 

Edited 

with a biographical introduction 

by 

FRED EDGCUMBE 

Resident Curator 
of the Keats Memorial House, 

Hampstead 

With a Foreword by 
MAURICE BUXTON FORMAN 


LONDON 

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 
HUMPHREY MILFORD 
1936 



Published under the auspices of the 
Public Libraries Committee of the 
Hampstead Borough Council by whoin 
Keats House and the Keats Museum are 
maintained and administered {Lionel 
R. M^Colvm, F.L A, t Chief Librarian 
and Cmator) 


PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



FOREWORD 


The whirligig of time, says the clown in Twelfth Night , 
brings m his revenges. Time in this case has sped a 
good hundred years, and chance, of which we are told 
this restless world is full, has brought good fortune m 
one hand and but a modicum of revenge in the other. 
And surely chance must have had some guiding finger 
to point the way for a mere bundle of letters written 
by one ordinary mortal to another — ^the sister of one 
she loved. Ordinary? Yes, for what were these girls if 
not of the average middle-class type, bom and brought 
up according to their station in life, to be loved, to be 
married, to bear children, and to pass on unnoticed by 
the world at large and utterly unknown to later genera- 
tions had it not been that the one loved a great poet 
and the other was the poet's sister. Even so it was 
by mere chance that these letters came home, for 
the poet's sister once lost many of her belongings 
while travelling abroad, yet these were saved to her, 
saved with other letters she held precious, letters 
counted by us worthy of a shrme in the nation's Valhalla 
for literary treasures. And now after a long journey 
by a circuitous route they have come to their final 
resting place in the demesne whence they issued forth 
to pass from Hampstead to Walthamstow, from Wal- 
thamstow back to Hampstead for a while, then to Spain, 
and thence, after more than half a century of rest, to 



start again for Hampstead on that aforesaid round- 
about journey, the details of which may not be disclosed. 
That matters not There they are and there they will 
remam, and we may only record our gratitude to time 
and chance for the gift. 

Revenge here has no sinister intent. All it amounts 
to IS that'^anny Brawne emerges from some obscurity 
to refute silently and with dignity the unkind things 
that have been said about her in bygone days. No one 
is hurt. Many will be glad, the many who had faith in 
her and belief in her love for John Keats, the many who 
had faith, too, in the poet, who saw through the cloak 
of the ‘minx' and the occasional frequenter of garish 
assemblies and found beneath it a woman to love, to 
adore with a passion that spent itself only with his last 
breath. 

These friendly, affectionate, homely letters, edited 
by Mr. F. Edgcumbe with the care of an enthusiast, 
may prove sad reading to some, but to those who reach 
into the truth of things and take pleasure in knowing all 
that IS to be known of those whose lives were intimately 
in touch with that of Keats, they cannot fail to be of 
interest Save for the poet's letters and the few com- 
ments made by Gerald GriflRn to members of his family, 
they are the only contemporary and unbiased evidence 
we have of Fanny Brawne's nature, and they prove her 
to have been just as I have already said, •'an ordinary 
person of sound common sense and good and faithful 



heart. She was a girl when she first met Keats; she may 
have been a 'mmx% she became a woman when she said 
goodbye to him at Hampstead on Wednesday the ISth 
of September 1820 . 


M Buxton Forman. 




CONTENTS 


INTRODUCTION .... xin 

FRANCES BRAWNE, afterwards Mrs. Louis 
Lindon ..... xix 

FRANCES MARY KEATS, afterwards Senora 
Valentine Llanos . . . xxiii 

LETTERS 1 

INDEX 75 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of Fanny Brawne, from the original minia- 
ture in the possession of her granddaughter, 

Mrs. Oswald Ellis . . . Frontispiece 

Portrait of Fanny Keats at the age of 43. From a 
photograph .... facing p, xxiii 

Facsimile ofLetter No. 5 (Jan. 15th, 1821 ) facing p 1 1 

Portrait of Fanny Keats m her old age From the 
original portrait by her son, Juan Llanos y 
Keats .... facing p*l^ 



NOTE 


References in the notes are to the following books: 
Letters of John Keats, Edited by Maurice Buxton Forman, 
2nd ed., with revisions and additional letters. 1935. 
{Letters ) 

John KeatSf his Life and Poetry, &c. By Sir Sidney Colvm. 
1917. (Colvin ) 

John Keats, By Amy Lowell 2 vols , 1925 (Lowell.) 
Life and Letters of Joseph Severn. By William Sharp 1892. 
(Sharp ) 



INTRODUCTION 

The letters here, printed, thirty-one in number, were 
written betweeEfSeptember, 1 820, and June, 1 82^ These 
two dates are significant in the correspondence, as they 
mark events of striking importance m the lives of both 
the writer and the recipient. Fanny Brawne said fare- 
well to Keats when, accompanied by Joseph Severn, he 
left Wentworth Place for Italy and death on September 
the ISth, 1820; her first letter to his sister is dated 
September the 17th. Fanny Keats became of age and 
her own mistress on June the 3rd, 1824, and the final 
letter of the series is dated a fortnight later. 

These letters have had a chequered history. Written at 
Wentworth Place, Hampstead, from that portion of the 
building where Keats spent his last days in England, they 
are addressed either to No. 4 Pancras Lane, Cheapside, 
the city residence of Mr. Richard Abbey, the guardian of 
the Keats children, or to Marsh Lane, Walthamstow, 
Essex, his summer residence, then situated in London's 
country-side When Fanny Keats married Sefior Llanos 
y Guiterez in 1826 and subsequently went to Spain she 
took with her these letters together with those from 
her brother now in the British Museum and Keats 
House. As she faithfully observed his wish — ‘You will* 
preserve all my letters' — ^they were, at her death, 
amongst her most treasured possessions. The existence 
of the letters from Fanny Brawne was undreamt of 



The remark by Mrs Brawne m a letter to Joseph 
Severn (Feb. 6th, 1821, Sharp's Life of Severn, p. 80), 
'Fanny and she [[Fanny Keats^ have constantly corre- 
sponded smce he left England', gave no direct clue 
to the existence of such important biographical docu- 
ments either to Sir Sidney Colvm or to Harry Buxton 
Forman There was no mention of the Fanny Brawne 
letters in the correspondence tliat passed between Rosa 
Llanos y Keats, Fanny Keats's eldest daughter, and 
Harry Buxton Forman, when the family decided that 
John's letters should go to the British Museum. 

So the matter remained until 1934, when information 
was received that a life-long collector of Keats had 
bequeathed his collection of books and Keatsiana to the 
Keats Memorial House, Hampstead. A condition of 
acceptance was that the gift should be regarded as 
anonymous Included in the gift were these letters, so 
once again after many vicissitudes they came back to 
the house where they had originally been written. They 
were at once recognized as those from which Amy 
Lowell had been privileged to quote a few tantalizing 
passages in her two-volume life of Keats. These quota- 
tions excited considerable curiosity and a certain scepti- 
cism amongst Keats enthusiasts, but no information as 
to the number or whereabouts of the letters was forth- 
coming. All that Miss Lowell could say was that 'they 
were the property of a gentleman who does not wish 
his name to be disclosed'. They have since been 



Cxv;] 

examined by experts, all of whom agree that their 
authenticity is beyond question, and that as human 
documents they are invaluable. 

From the first letter where Fanny Brawne expresses 
her pleasure in complying with her lover's desire that 
she should write to his sister, her sympathy and com- 
passion for the young and friendless girl of seventeen 
are evident. Although Severn's first letters from Rome 
were full of optimism for Keats's recovery, she knew 
within herself that never would she see him again. 
"The tone of the early letters betrays this fear, which 
with a common-sense decision she makes no pretence 
to hide. The letter of February the 1st, 18£1 (No 6), 
betrays her agony of mind: 'Oh my dear, he is very ill. 
. . He did not get better nor did he get worse. But 
could I conceal from myself that with him, not getting 
better was getting worse?' As hope leaves her the 
knowledge that she will never see him again causes her 
to rail against the fate that has befallen them: Ts it to be 
borne that he, formed for every thing good, and, I think I 
dare say it, for every thing great, is to give up his hopes 
of life and happiness, so young too, and to be murdered, 
for that is the case, by the mere malignity of the world.' 
After the news of his death she writes to console the 
younger girl, telling her that she knows 'my Keats is happy, 
happier a thousand times than he could have been here, 
for Fanny, you do not, you never can know how much he 
has suffered'. She asks for her friendship and tells her 



Cxvi^ 

that she 'must consider my Mother as more than a 
stranger for your brother loved her very much . . . and 
had he returned I should have been his wife and he 
would have lived with us'.. 

Then is shown her determination that no one shall 
share him with her 'I have not mentioned your brother. 
To no one but you would I mention him . . . but I can 
tell you who next to me (I must say next to me) loved 
him best, that I have not got over it and never shall.' 
This attitude she maintained, and when some nine 
years later Brown wrote to her asking her permission 
to use letters and poems addressed to her in a pro- 
jected life of the poet, the same reluctance is reflected 
in her reply. Though overwhelmed with grief she 
writes bravely, and despite her dislike of the Abbeys 
endeavours to persuade Fanny Keats to conciliate them, 
that her life in their society may be made more pleasant, 
admitting, despite her criticism of the family, that 'Abbey 
has acted to the best of his judgement'. She endeavours 
to train the young girl's mind towards a love for that 
which is best in literature, and sends her the journals 
and magazines of the day. Her own appreciation of 
literature and art is reflected in her remarks on the 
books she has read and the pictures she has seen* 
*<rhese letters show Fanny Brawne, who was but 
twenty years of age, as a young woman of remarkable 
perception and imagination, keen in the observance of 
character and events, possessing an unusual critical 



Cxvii^ 

faculty, and intellectually fitted to become the wife of 
Keats. The feelings she expresses towards the memory 
of Keats, confirmed by the observations of Gerald 
Griffin, who in a letter to his sister (July, 1826 ) 
describes her 'as beautiful, elegant and accomplished 
a girl as any, or more than any I have seen here*, com- 
pel the reader to repudiate the accusation of shallow- 
ness levelled against her in some quarters. Those who 
have believed in Fanny Brawne's devotion to Keats 
have the satisfaction of knowing that their faith has at 
last been justified. 

In editing the letters I have adhered to the spelling 
and punctuation of the original manuscripts. Some 
words Fanny Brawne elected to spell as Nathan Bailey 
gave them in his Etymological English Dictionary, which 
Keats also used; beyond these there are but few de- 
partures from accepted orthography. To add to the 
readers* understanding a short biographical sketch of 
both Fanny Keats and Fanny Brawne is given, besides 
such explanatory notes as are necessary to throw light 
upon obscure allusions or quotations from other letters. 
As Keats*s life and thought have been so adequately 
dealt with by biographers and critics, no attempt has 
been made to treat the letters other than as correspon- 
dence between the betrothed and the sister of the poet. 

Grateful acknowledgement is made to Mrs. Oswald 
Ellis for permission to reprint her grandmother's letters, 
and also for allowing the reproduction of the portrait 

c 



C xviii 3 

miniature, to Mr. Maurice Buxton Forman for his most 
generous help, to Mr. Edmund Blunden for valuable 
suggestions, and also to Mr Lionel R. M^Colvin for 
assistance in many directions. 

F. E. 


KEATS HOUSE, HAMPSTEAD. 

September 1936 , 



FRANCES BRAWNE 

afterwards Mrs. Louis Lindon 

Fanny Brawne was bora at Hampstead on August 
the 9th, 1800, being the elder daughter of Samuel 
and Frances Brawne. Her father died in 1809 leaving 
his widow with two daughters, Frances and Margaret, 
and a son, Samuel. Nothing is Imown of Mrs. Brawne 
until 1818, when she became the tenant of the half of 
Wentworth Place belonging to Charles Brown, while he 
and Keats were on a walking tour in Scotland Being 
neighbours of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wentworth Dilke 
and the two houses having a common garden, a friend- 
ship sprang up between the families which even after 
Mrs. Brawne's tragic death m 1829 continued for many 
years. When Keats was warned by the doctor at Inver- 
ness to discontinue the tour, he returned to Hamp- 
stead, arriving in a dishevelled state on August the 
18th Calling immediately upon Mrs. Dilke to thank 
her for her kindness to his brother Tom, then dying 
of consumption in Well Walk, he was probably at once 
introduced to the Brawnes. The time he could spare 
from Tom’s bedside and visiting his^ister at Waltham- 
stow was spent at Wentworth Place, His first mention of 
Fanny Brawne is in the journal letter of December, 1818, 
to his brother George in America, in which after refer- 
ring to Tom’s death he says that he is going to ‘domesti- 
cate’ with Brown. Later he writes ‘Mrs. Brawne who 



took Brown's house for the Summer, still resides in Hamp- 
stead [|she had removed to lodgings a short distance 
away]— she is a very nice woman — and her daughter 
senior is I think beautiful and elegant, graceful, silly, 
fashionable and strange, we have a little tiff now and then 
— and she behaves a little better, or I must have sheered 
off' The attraction is evident, and a few days later in the 
same letter he draws a pen-portrait of her in which while 
still attackmg he yet more stoutly defends. By this time 
he was her declared lover, and it seems probable from her 
remark in her letter of December, 1821 (No. 16), that 
Christmas Day ‘three years ago was the happiest day 
I had ever then spent', that it was on that day she became 
engaged to the poet. It is not proposed here to enlarge 
upon the love story of Keats and Fanny Brawne. That 
he worshipped her we know; that she treasured his 
letters and the ring he gave her we know; that she 
dearly loved him is proved by these letters In whatever 
light we look upon Fanny Brawne the fact remains that, 
without her love, life would have meant but a small 
thing and a misery to Keats in his last years. 

During the last few weeks of his life in England 
Keats was devotedly nursed by Fanny and her mother 
in their Hampstead home, and the day before he left 
Wentworth Place he wrote to his sister that she should 
have news of him from ‘a friend'; that friend was, of 
course, Fanny Brawne, and within a week the first news of 
the travellers was sent 'to Fanny Keats at Walthamstow. 



Cxxi^ 

After the tragic death in November, IS9.9, of her 
mother — the *kind lady' of whom Severn speaks so 
appreciatively — ^Fanny Brawne and her sister moved 
from Wentworth Place. Within two years they had 
suffered a double bereavement, as their only brother 
had died in April, 18£8, at the age of £3. Orphaned 
and alone they left the house which now had only sad 
memories for them. 

On June ihe I5th, 1833, twelve years after the 
death of Keats, Fanny Brawne was married at the 
Parish Church, St. Marylebone, to Mr. Louis Lindo, 
who was of Spanish extraction. Her husband after- 
wards changed his name to Lindon, and regarding our 
lack of knowledge as to how she first came to know 
him, it IS interesting to speculate that Fanny Keats's 
husband, Valentine Llanos, may have brought them 
together. The same year Margaret Brawne married at 
Dieppe the Chevalier da Cunha, son of the Marquis 
d'Inleamprepa Within a year Mr. and Mrs. Lindon 
were living at Diisseldorf, where their elder son, Her- 
bert Brawne Lindon, was born. There were two other 
children of the marriage, Edmund and Margaret. For 
some years they moved about the Continent, and her 
scrap-book contains many views of the places they 
visited. This scrap-book and a book containing her 
costume plates (both presented with other valuable 
relics to Keats House by her granddaughter, Mrs. 
Oswald Ellis) give an excellent idea of her artistic 



Cxxn'2 

taste. Filled with reproductions of the great masters, 
prmts of beautiful buildings, and costumes of all ages, 
they show her to have been a woman of culture, appre- 
ciative of the beautiful in art, even as her letters provide 
evidence of her taste in literature. After a tranquil 
married life she died on December the 4th, 1865; her 
husband followed her seven years later. Both were 
buried in Brompton Cemetery. 





^anny SKeats dc ^da/tos, al>ani iS^o 

id€nftJli€d hxj Im giand'-^dtuu/Iihf iSaunuta cVc/ni ^Annknutn i/Jdanos 

^UadmL J^mnbet ig^s 


<*’ t -.iJ fjh I 



FRANCES MARY KEATS 

afterwards Senora Valentine Llanos 

Fanny Keats was bom on June the Srd, 1803, at the 
*Swan and Hoop’, Moorgate, being the youngest of 
the four Keats children. After the death bf her mother 
in 1810 she was cared for by her grandmother, Mrs. 
Jennings, and when she died in 1814 all the children 
came under the guardianship of Richard Abbey, a whole- 
sale tea and coffee merchant, and John Sandalls. San- 
dalls soon relinquished his authority, and Abbey, a 
strict and unsympathetic business man, became the sole 
arbiter of their destinies until they came of age. Fanny 
Keats was taken into his home, and by him placed in 
an ‘academy for young ladies’ at Walthamstow, con- 
ducted by Miss Tuckey and Miss Caley. We have no 
information about her schooldays, but she was there 
when, in September, 1817, Keats addresses to her from 
Oxford the first extant letter of their correspondence. 
‘Let us now begin a regular question and answer’, he 
writes, and after describing the legend of Endymion 
tells her of the family movements and asks her taste in 
books. From December, 1818, letters ceased to be 
addressed to the care of Miss Tuckey, and were sent 
to Mr. Abbey’s either at Pancras Lane or Waltham- 
stow. Fanny’s schooldays were over, in spite of her 
desire to stay and John’s efforts to persuade Abbey to 
allow her to do so. She was then fifteen. 



Cxxiv] 

From Keats's letters it is evident that there was little 
mtimacy between the brothers and their sister. Abbey, 
annoyed witli what he considered John's wasteful life, 
did his utmost to prevent them meeting, carrying his 
prejudices to what Keats considered unreasonable 
lengths, even objecting to her receiving letters from 
him. It must be remembered that, except for John, 
Fanny was alone. George had emigrated to America 
in June, 1818, and Tom had died at Hampstead in the 
following December. Replying to his sister's complaints 
Keatswrites (Feb 27th, 1819): ‘You must pay no atten- 
tion to Mrs. Abbey's unfeeling and ignorant gabble.' 
Later, as may be seen, Fanny Brawne was of the same 
opinion. Such remarks, possibly seen by her guardian, 
added to the strained relations between him and Keats. 
Abbey also took exception to their calling together 
upon friends, and seems to have opposed even a visit 
by Fanny to her dying brother. ‘I have seen Mr. Abbey 
three times about you, and have not been able to get his 
consent', John told his sister in a note of November 
the 5th, 1818. And so it came about that Fanny 
Keats and Fanny Brawne did not meet until after John's 
death. Correspondence, however, was fairly frequent 
between brother and sister until Keats left England, 
and his last letter, written two days before his de- 
parture, dictated to and in the handwriting of Fanny 
Brawne, says. It is not illness that prevents me from 
writing but as I am recommended to avoid every sort 



Cxxv3 

of fatigue I have accepted the assistance of a friend, who 
I have desired to write to you when I am gone and to 
communicate any mtelligence she may hear of me/ 
This friend was Fanny Brawne, and the ensuing corre- 
spondence shows how faithfully she fulfilled his behest. 

It is not Imown how long Fanny Keats remained 
with the Abbeys after she came of age, but as she was 
married in 18£6 it is surmised that she left them soon 
after she attained her majority. Having no living rela- 
tives in England, and, as far as can be ascertained, few 
friends apart from theDilkes and the Brawnes, her move- 
ments must of necessity have been greatly restricted. 
H Buxton Forman states that she had considerable 
difficulty in obtaining her patrimony from Abbey, and 
was only successful after repeated efforts and the assis- 
tance of Charles Wentworth Dilke, who with his wife 
had befriended Keats and his brothers and sister smce 
1818. 

The earliest contemporary reference to Fanny Keats's 
marriage to Valentine Llanos y Guiterez, generally 
known as Valentine Llanos, was brought to light by 
Mr. Blunden m 1931 when he reprinted extracts from 
the Life of Gerald Griffin (London, 1843). In June, 
1825, Griffin writes that he hopes to become acquainted 
with the sister of Keats the poet, and goes on 'My 
Spanish friend, Valentine Llanos, was intimate with 
him, and spoke with him three days before he died.' 
From Letter No 1 2 in this collection it may be gathered 



C xxvi ^2 

that Llanos had frequently called on the Brawnes at 
Wentworth Place before October, 1821, and there is 
the question, ‘You have not I suppose seen Mr. Guiterez, 
he called about a fortnight ago to take leave as he in- 
tended to pass a week or two at Walthamstow ' He 
probably called on Fanny shortly afterwards and there 
can be little doubt that this was her first meeting with 
her future husband. They were married on March 
the SOth, 1826, at St. Luke's, Chelsea, where Fanny 
Keats had lived perhaps with, or near, the Dilkes after 
she left the Abbey household in 1824. Llanos was an 
accomplished Spanish gentleman resident in England 
and the author of two novels, Don Esteban ( 1825) and 
Sandoval the Freemason (1826), both published by 
Henry Colburn In July, 1826, Griffin spent an evening 
with Llanos and his wife when Fanny Brawne was also 
of the party. A fortnight later he writes that they are 
going to France, 'which I regret as deeply as it is pos- 
sible for me to say'. By 1 828 they were back in England 
and settled at Wentworth Place as neighbours of the 
Brawnes, in that part of the house once occupied by 
Keats and Charles Brown. Griffin dined with them, and 
again met Fanny Brawne, whose witty conversation 
much impressed him. 

Late in 1883 Llanos and his wife left Hampstead and 
returned to Spain, and after some travelling finally 
settled in Madrid. There were four children of the 
marriage, two sons and two daughters, and Joseph 



C xxvii ;] 

Severn records meeting the family in Rome in 1861 
where Sehora Llanos had gone to visit her married 
daughter, whose husband. Count Brockmann, was Chief 
Engineer of the Roman Railways. In 1886 Seilor 
Llanos died, and shortly after his widow was awarded 
a small Civil List pension. She died on December 
the 16th, 1889, at the advanced age of 86. Her surviv- 
ing grandchildren, Senor Enrique Brockmann and his 
sister Sehora Elena Brockmann, still reside at the house 
in Madrid where their grandparents lived for many 
years. 




No. 1 


Monday afternoon [[September 18 , 18 £ 0 [] 
My dear Miss Keats 

Your brother^ on leaving England expressed a wish 
that I should occasionally write to you,^ a wish with 
which I feel the greatest pleasure m complying, but I 
cannot help thinking I require some kind of introduc- 
tion, instead of which I must inform you of all my claims 
to your correspondepce and I assure you I think them 
no slight ones, fori have known your brother for two 
years, am a great friend of M^s Dilke's who I believe 
you like, and once sent you a message, which I do not 
know whether you received by a lady who had then 
never seen you but who expected to do so, a M^® Cor- 
nish. Besides which I have several times invited you 
to stay with me during the last time your brother 
George was in England, an indulgence which was not 
granted me. You see I have been quite intimate with 

^ Keats led Wentworth Place on Wednesday, Sept 13th, 1820, and 
stayed with John Taylor in Fleet Street until he embarked on the 
Marta Crowiher on the 17th. Fanny Brawne wrote her first letter to 
Fanny Keats the following day. 

® Keats dictated a letter to his sister {Letters^ p. 517), dated Sept. 
11th, 1820. ‘It IS not illness that prevents me writing, but as I am 
recommended to avoid every sort of fatigue I have accepted the assist- 
ance of a friend (Fanny Brawne) who I have desired to write to you 
when I am gone, and to commumcate any intelligence she may hear 
of me * Both letter and signature are in Fanny Brawne’s handwriting. 
The letter waswritten two days before he left Wentworth Place. Keats 
never wrote again either to his sister or his betrothed. The letters he 
received from them were buried with him unopened. 

B 



you, most likely without you ever having heard of my 
name. Besides all this your brother has been staying 
with us for the last six weeks of his being in this 
country and my Mother has nursed him. He left us 
last Wednesday but as the ship waited a few days 
longer than we expected, he did not sail from London 
till 7 o’clock yesterday morning. This afternoon we 
have received letters from two of his friends^ who 
accompanied him as far as Gravesend; they both de- 
clare his health and spirits to be better than they could 
have expected. I do not enclose you the letters or send 
you all the particulars because Haslam said he 
should call on you very soon and he may have seen 
you before you receive this note; if that should not be 
the case, you will be pleased to hear that he went part 
of the way with him. his kindness cannot be described. 
As he was uneasy at your brother’s travelling by him- 
self he persuaded a friend^ to go with him, and in a 
very few weeks Brown, who you probably know 
^ by name will follow him. I cannot tell you how much 
every one have exerted themselves for him, nor how 
much he is liked, which is the more wonderful as he is 

^ Probably John Taylor and Wm. Haslam. Taylor also wrote to 
Fanny Keats tellmg ber ‘ On Sunday mormng (tbe 17tb. September) 
Mr. Keats went on board the Maria Crowiher, for Naples, and about 
noon reached Gravesend . Mr. Taylor, Mr Haslam, and Mr. Wood- 
house accompamed Mr. Keats to Gravesend, and left him at 4 o'clock 
on Sunday afternoon— He was then comfortably settled in his new 
habitation with every prospect of having a pleasant voyage.’ 

® Joseph Severn. Brown did not go to Italy until August, 1822. 



the last person to exert himself to gain people's friend- 
ship. I am certain he has some spell that attaches them 
to him, or else he has fortunately met with a set of 
friends that I did not believe could be found in the 
world. May I hope, at some time to receive a letter 
from you? Perhaps you have an objection to write to 
a stranger. If so, I will try not to be very much dis- 
appointed if your objection is too strong to be over- 
come. For my own part I have long ceased to consider 
you a stranger and though this first letter may be a 
little stiff — ^because I wish to let you know what a time 
I have been acquainted with you, it will not be the case 
again, for at any rate I shall write once more whether 
you answer or not, as soon as letters are received from 
your brother, which I hope will not be for some time, 
for writing agitates him extremely. In Haslam you 
will see the best person in the world to raise your 
spirits, he feels so certain your brother will soon recover 
his health. What an unconscionable first letter. I 
remain yours, allow me to say, affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 


Wentworth Place, Hampstead. 
Monday afternoon. 

Postmark: Sp. 19, 1820. N^. 
Address* Miss Keats, 

Richard Abbey's Esq. 
Walthamstow. 



[43 

No. 2 

Friday night [[October 6, 1820 [] 

My dear Miss Keats 

First I must return you my thanks for your readiness 
in accepting me as a correspondent, and then hasten 
to inform you I have heard of your brother. I received 
yesterday a letter from Dilke with part of a letter 
from a relation^ of hers, copied out for my benefit, as 
I shall copy it for yours *I have had some very un- 
expected visitors, M*^ Keats and M^ Severn. They had 
been beating about with a contrary wind ever since they 
left London, and at last put into Portsmouth. I think 
M^^ Keats much better than I expected and M^ Severn 
said he was sure that notwithstanding the hardships 
they had undergone, he was much better than when he 
left London/ 

I cannot say this news pleases me much, I was in 
hopes that by this time he was half-way to Naples. He 
left Portsmouth on the 29*^ of September, the wind 
being favorable, the next day it again changed con- 
trary to their wishes, but they did not return so it is 

^ The first letter definitely fixes the date that Keats left Wentworth 
Place* Wednesday, the 13th of September, 1820, This has always 
been in doubt (see Lowell, vol. n, p. 460), though Colvm (p 488} gives 
this date, but does not give the authority for the statement. The Maria 
Crowther left Gravesend for Naples on Monday evening, September 
the 18th. The vessel put into Portsmouth on September the 28th, 
and Keats visited Mr. Snook, C. W. Dilke*s brother-in-law, at 
Bedhampton. 



supposed tlie captain put to Sea. I had a message for 
you from your brother before he left Hampstead as well 
as a lock of hair, both of which I forgot. He parti- 
cularly requests you will avoid colds and coughs, and 
desires you never to go into the cold air out of the 
hothouse. The hair I myself cut off for you. It is very 
short, as he had little at the time. If you wish to use it 
in a manner that requires more pray mention it, I have 
some that was cut off two or three years ago I believe, 
and there is no difference in the color. 

The Cornish I mean visits a family of the name 
of Goss or something like it; she told me she was fre- 
quently in the habit of calling, with them, on and 
Abbey; but if she described her intimacy falsely, all 
I can say is that she is a foolish woman and if ever I see 
her again, I will ask her what she could mean. At any 
rate, her daughter, whose name is Grace, remembers 
you about six years ago, but she was so stupid I could 
make her understand nothing. My Mother is just 
returned from the city, and she saw M^ Haslam who 
had received a letter^ from M^ Severn, not dated so 
late by some days as that M^® Dilke received; M^ Keats 
had had no return of his complaint, and had suffered 
comparatively little from sea-sickness. I believe we 
shall receive that letter or one like it shortly. If that 
is the case I will send it to you or copy it for you. I 

^ A long letter describing the miseries of the passengers as the 
vessel beat down channel. (CoMn, p. 489.) 



I received your last letter. By way of saying something 
I began to talk about you. Of course I did not tell her 
she had been suspected as an impostor, but I talked as 
carelessly as if our acquamtance had been formed on 
Abbey’s recommendation. When I read your 
letter I was sorry for what I had done, so if I see her 
again I mean to insist that her ears have deceived her 
and that I did not say I had heard /row you but of you 
from your brother. Not that I expect her to remem- 
ber a word about it, or even that either of us exists. 
She said she was soon going to stay with Goss 
and that she should most likely call with her on your 
family. 

I saw Dilke the other day and delivered your 
message. She desires me to return her love. My 
Mother with an elderly lady’s decorum begs to be 
remembered to you (and I beg for the future that you 
will always take it for granted she does so, as I am apt 
to forget her messages) and I send you my most affec- 
tionate love 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark' Hampstead 7 o’clock, Nov. 27, 1820. N^. 
Address: For Miss Keats, 

Richard Abbeys Esq. 

Walthamstow. 

Written inside cover, Wentworth Place Novr. 27 p820 3 



C93 
No. 4 

Monday afternoon [[December 4, 1820 [] 

My dear Girl 

I am really afFraid you will think me a most trouble- 
some correspondent but this time I do not write on my 
own account but by your brothers wish. M^ Brown 
has received a letter from him dated November the ^ 
from which I find he has not yet written to you, as he 
wished someone to do it for him. In the letter we 
received before dated the 24^^^ of October, he said they 
had to stay on board ten days longer to perform Quaran- 
tine. So far they had had a tolerable voyage from the 
time they left Portsmouth. He did not think himself 
better or worse but his spirits were not very good. 
When he wrote to M^ Brown they were just arrived 
on shore, their sufferings during the quarantine were 
beyond any thing we can imagine From your brother I 
never expect a very good account, but you may imagine 
how lowering to the spirits it must have been when 
M^ Severn who I never imagined it was possible for 
any thing to make unhappy, who I never saw for ten 
minutes serious, says he was so overcome that he was 
obliged to relieve himself by shedding tears ^ He 

^ This IS the letter in which Keats begs Brown ‘ For my sake, be her 
advocate for ever. * Naples, Nov 1st, 1820. {Letters, p 523 ) 

^ Severn to Haslam, Naples, Nov. 1st, 1820. ‘For myself I have 
stood it firmly until this morning when in a moment my spirits dropped 
at the sight of his suffering — ^a plentiful shower of tears (which he did 
not see) has relieved me somewhat ’ (Colvin, p. 498.) 


C 



however says your brother was a little recovered, at 
least quite as much so as he could expect, the day after 
his arrival. He says, if he can but get his spirits good, 
he will answer for his being well in a moderate time; 
which shows he does not consider he has any complaint 
of consequence. They had met with several friends 
who were extremely kind to them, particularly the 
brother of a young lady a passenger with them,^ who 
went out in dreadful health, and who, God knows, I 
have a thousand times wished at the bottom of the sea 
as I know she made it worse for your brother. The 
Physician^ to whom our friends were recommended was 
at Rome when they reached Naples and they had made 
up their minds to go to Rome. I have written to him 
today and directed the letter there.^ If you would like 
to write to him mention it, and I will get the direction, 
for I cannot give it you now as it is a foreign one and 
I should make some mistake so I will ask Brown 
again when I see him, I should like to have given you 
a better account but I must say that considering all 
things it is as well as we could have expected. My dear 
you must not consider this a letter from me but from 
your brother, for I should be quite ashamed not to 

^ Mr Charles Cotterell, brother of Miss Cotterell who was a passenger 
(and a consumptive) on the Maria Crowther, 

* Dr. (afterwards Sir) James Clark, wh6 attended Keats in Borne. 
He arranged the lodgings for Keats and Severn in Rome in the Piazza 
di Spagna, the house bemg opposite his own. 

* Keats never opened any of Fanny Brawne’s or Fanny Keats's 
letters; they were buried with him. 



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mention being frightened of an acquaintance of yours — 
a letter has been received from George Keats to 
her brother. They are all very well and you may by 
this time expect another little nephew or niece^ 

Yours very affectionately 

FRANCES B 

Monday afternoon. 

Postmark: Hampstead 4 o'clock Dec. 5. 1820 ev. 
Address: Miss Keats, 

Richard Abbeys Esq 
Walthamstow. 

No. 5 

Panuary 15, 1821 2 

My dear Miss Keats 

I am almost ashamed to write to you though I have 
been waiting for above three weeks to do so, but I hope 
you will forgive me, for it is not quite my fault. On 
the 23'^ of December, M^ Brown received a letter from 
your brother in which he desired that someone would 
write to you, 2 to say he was as well as he could expect, 
and that we should hear from him in a few days. This 
letter I waited for some time, but as we have received 
since that a letter from M^ Severn, in which no mention 
is made of it I conclude he changed his mind fearful 

^ George Keats wrote to his sister from Louisville, Kentucky, 
January, 1821, * You have now my dear Fanny another niece, she was 
born on the 18th, December [1820] * This was Rosalind, who pre- 
deceased her father. {Letters^ p, 515 ) 

* Probably the last letter he wrote Rome, Nov. 30th, 1820. * I have 
an habitual feeling of my real life having passed, and that I am leading 
a posthumous existence. . . . Write to George as soon as you receive 



that the exertion might fatigue him. When Severn 
wrote, they were in Rome after a most wretched journey. 
They lodged opposite an English Physician^ to whom 
they were recommended, and who paid them the greatest 
attention. Your brother went out on horseback every 
day.^ I am extremely glad they have chosen Rome 
instead of Naples for their winter residence. I am sure 
the climate is far preferable besides the disturbed state 
Naples seems likely to be in, and which no doubt in- 
duced them to quit it. Do, my dear Girl, if you have 
any intelligence of them, let me know it, however 
trifling we shall feel it of the greatest consequence* 
The time is so long before either party can receive 
letters, that it makes me very impatient My Mother 
desires her best remembrances to you, and believe me 
to remain 

Yours most affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Monday Morn^ 

Postmark * Hampstead, Jan. 16 1821. 

Written inside cover in pencil in Fanny Keats's hand — 
'Tuesday, 

Rabbits Tuesday, 

January 16^^ 1821/ 

this, and tell him how I am, as far as you can guess ; and also a note 
to my sister— who walks about my imagination like a ghost — ^she is so 
like Tom. I can scarcely bid you goodbye, even in a letter. I always 
made an awkward bow.* {Letters, p. 525 ) 

^ Dr (afterwards Sir) James Clark, Piazza di Spagna. 

® ‘ Yet I ride the little horse’ he wrote in the letter quoted in note 2, 



CiO 
No. 6 

February 1st Hampstead. 

My dear Girl 

I have been this week wishing to write to you but 
putting it off every day in hopes of having something 
concerning your brother to communicate which would 
not give you pain, but it is in vain to wait any longer. 
Oh my dear, he is very ill, he has been so ever since the 
8^*^ of December. If I had written this letter two hours 
sooner I should have owned to you that I had scarcely 
a hope remaining and even now when I have just re- 
ceived a letter from Severn with the nearest ap- 
proaching to good news that we have had since this 
last attack, there is nothing to rest upon, merely a 
hope, a chance. But I will tell you all in as collected a- 
way as I can/ On the 10^^ of Jan^y Brown received 
a letter from Rome saying your brother had been at- 
tacked with spitting of blood and that the symptoms 
were very bad. He had been ill for 17 days and did not 
appear to get better, I judged of you by myself and 
though I was then about to write I deferred it for some 
time in hopes a letter more cheering might arrive. I 
cannot think I was wrong. If you knew how much I 
regretted that it had not been kept from me^ — ^how con- 

^ ^ Letter from Brown to Severn, mid-January, 1821 • ‘Miss Brawne 
does not actually know there is no hope, she looks more sad every day. 
She has insisted on writing to him by this post, take care of the letter— 
if too late, let it be returned unopened ... to Mrs Brawne.*^ 



tinually I thought a fortnight or even a weeks ignorance 
of it would have been more pain spared — and when at 
last I could not bear to keep silence any longer for fear 
you should fancy the least neglect should have occa- 
sioned it, I wrote a letter that without mentioning any 
thing positively bad, did not, if I may judge from your 
answer give you hopes of a speedy recovery. Once or 
twice we have heard slight accounts, which were neither 
calculated to raise or depress our hopes but yesterday 
I was told of a letter from the Physician^ which said 
he was exactly the same. He did not get better nor did 
he get worse But could I conceal from myself that 
with him, not getting better was getting worse? If 
ever I gave up hope, I gave it up then I tried to destroy 
it, I tried to persuade myself that I should never see 
him again. I felt that you ought no longer to remain 
in ignorance and the whole of this day I have been 
thinking how I could tell you. I am glad, very glad, 
I waited, for I have just received the account I spoke of 
in the beginning of this letter. Severn says that for 
the first time he feels a hope,^ he thinks he shall bring 

^ Letter from Dr Clark, Rome, Jan, 3rd, 1821. ‘The state of Ms 
mind is the worst possible for one in his condition, and will undoubtedly 
hurry on an event that I fear is not far distant.’ 

® Letter from Severn to Mrs. Brawne, Rome, Jan. 11th, 1821. After 
writing that ‘ I most certainly thmk that I shall bring him back to 
England . Severn continues: ‘He has now given up all thoughts, 
hopes, or even wish for recovery. His mmd is in a state of peace for 
the final leave he has taken of this world and all its future hopes, , . 
After describmg his anxieties, he sends hxs compliments to Miss 



him back to us. Surely, that is saying a great deal — 
and yet the reason he gives for that hope destroys it, 
for the last 3 days (the letter was dated the of 
Jan) your brother had been calm, he had resigned him- 
self to die. Oh can you bear to think of it, he has given 
up even wishing to live — Good God’ is it to be borne 
that he, formed for every thing good, and, I think I dare 
say it, for every thing great, is to give up his hopes of 
life and happiness, so young too, and to be murdered, 
for that is the case, by the mere malignity of the world, 
joined to want of feeling in those who ought above all 
to have felt for him — I am sure nothing during his long 
illness has hurt me so much as to hear he was resigned 
to die. But I will say no more about it. In a week or 
ten days I will enclose you the letter. You should have 
it sooner but we are obliged, in consequence of a mes- 
sage respecting money to send it to a friend in London 
first. ^ And now my dear Girl, my dear Sister for so I 
feel you to be, forgive me if I have not sufficiently 
softened this wretched news. Indeed I am not now 
able to contrive words that would appear less harsh — 

Brawne, and concludes ‘ O » I would my unfortunate friend had never 
left your Wentworth Place — for the hopeless advantages of this com- 
fortless Italy. He has many, many times talked over “the few happy 
days at your house, the only time when his mind was at ease’*.’ 

^ The friend was John Taylor, There was a misunderstanding over 
the payment of money to Keats through the Roman banker Torlonia. 
On receipt of this letter Taylor (who had advanced the money for 
Keats’s use) took immediate steps for the drafts to be honoured on 
presentation. 



If I am to lose him I lose every thing and then you, 
after my Mother will be the only person I shall feel 
interest or attachment for — I feel that I love his sister 
as my own — God Bless you, he has talked of you con- 
tinually, he did so when he was in great danger last 
spring ^ He has also expressed a wish for my Mother 
and M^s Dilke to call and see you.^ I cannot give up 
a hope that you may one day come and see me. Do you 
think Abby will ever be induced to give his consent. 
If you thmk so whenever you write, tell me, and my 
Mother should ask his permission, but not just at pre- 
sent unless you thmk that would not be venturing too 
far at first — 

I remain my dearest Girl 

Yours very affectionately 

FANNY 

I forgot to mention he reads no letters for fear of 
agitating himself — I know I may trust to you never 
to mention me either now — or at any future time as 
connected with your brother® — as I know he would 

^ The first severe haemorrhage and illness, February, 1820. 

® Letter from Severn to Brown, Rome, Dec, 14th, 1820. After 
descnbmg Keats’s sufferings as his life slowly passed to its close he 
says: *I heard Keats say how he should like Mrs. Brawne and Mrs. 
Dilke to visit his sister at Walthamstow — ^will you say this for me,’ 
This final paragraph shows how strongly Fanny Brawne regarded 
her betrothal to Keats as entirely a personal matter. Her draft reply 
to Brown’s request (Leficrs, p. Ixii), nearly nine years later (Dec. 1829), 
for pennission*to use poems and letters addressed to her by Keats 
expresses the same conviction. See also letter No. 9. 



dislike that sort of gossiping way in which people not 
concerned mention those things^ — God bless you once 
more — 

Postmark: 12 o’clock Feb. 2, 1821. Ev. 

Address, Miss Keats 

Richard Abby’s Esqre. 

Walthamstow 


No. 7 

Monday Morn [^February 2^, 1821.^ 

My dear Fanny 

I enclose you the letter^ I promised you but I cannot 

^ See note 3, p 16. 

2 Colvin’s Life of Keats, pp 514 et seq. *The letters written by 
Severn . were handed round and eagerly scanned among the circle. 
Brown, when they came into his hands, used to read passages from 
them at his discretion to the Brawne ladies next door, keeping the 
darkest from the daughter at her mother’s wish Mrs. Brawne, evi- 
dently believing the child’s heart to be deeply engaged dealt in the 
same manner with Severn’s letters to herself The girl seems to have 
divined none the less that her lover’s condition was past hope, and 
her demeanour ... to have been human and natural. Keats, writes 
Brown in a broken style, — “is present to me everywhere and at all 
tunes . . . Much as I have loved him, I never knew how closely he was 
wound about my heart. Mrs Brawne was greatly agitated when I told 
her of — and her daughter — I don’t know how — ^for I was not present — 
yet she bears it with great firmness, mournfully and without affecta- 
tion I understand she says to her mother, * I believe he must soon 
die, and when you hear of his death, tell me immediately. I am not 
a fool * “ * Colvin continues, * We hear in the meantime of her being in 
close correspondence with his sister Fanny at Walthamstow, When 
the news of the end came, Brown writes, — ^*‘1 felt at the moment 
utterly unprepared for it. Then she — she was to have it told to her, 
and the worst had been concealed from her knowledge ever since your 



send with it any news that would give you pleasure. 
A letter has been received, which I have not seen dated 
the 25^^ he was not worse but he was not better, and 
faint as are the hopes Severn gives I dare not think 
them well founded. All I do is to persuade myself, I 
shall never see him again — but I will not say any more 
perhaps it may afford you more comfort to hope for the 
best. God bless you my dearest girl in a week or a 
fortnight I will write to you again unless I hear from 
Italy, should that be the case you shall be immediately 
informed of it. 

Yours very affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark' 26 Feb 1821. 2 o’clock. 

Address, Miss Keats 

at Mr. Abby’s 
Pancras Lane 

No. 8 

Tuesday Afternoon [[March 27, 1821 
You will forgive me, I am sure, my dear Fanny, that 
I did not wnte to you before, I could not for my own 
sake and I would not for yours, as it was better you 
should be prepared for what, even knowing as much as 

[Severn’s] December letter. It is now five days since sbe heard it. I 
shall not speak of the first shock, nor of the following days, — ^it is 
enough she is now pretty well — and thro’ont she has shown a firmness 
of mind which I little expected from one so young, and under such 
a load of grief.’” 



you did, you could not expect^— I should like to hear 
that you my dearest Sister are well, for myself, I am 
patient, resigned, very resigned. I know my Keats is 
happy, happier a thousand times than he could have 
been here, for Fanny, you do not, you never can know 
how much he has suffered. So much that I do believe, 
were it in my power I would not bring him back. All 
that grieves me now is that I was not with him, and 
so near it as I was. Some day my dear girl I will tell 
you the reason and give you additional cause to hate 
those who should have been his friends, and yet it was 
a great deal through his kindness for me for he fore- 
saw what would happen, he at least was never deceived 
about his complaint, though the Doctors were ignorant 
and unfeeling enough to send him to that wretched 
country to die, for it is now known that his recovery 
was impossible before he left us, and he might have died 
here with so many friends to soothe him and me me 
with him. All we have to console ourselves with is the 
great joy he felt that all his misfortunes were at an end. 
At the very last he said 'I am dying thank God the time 
is come',^ and in a letter from Severn written about 
a fortnight before he died^ and which was not shown me, 

^ Keats died in Rome on Feb. 23rd, 1821, and three days later was 
buried in the Protestant Cemetery, his epitaph being of his O’wn 
choosing, ‘ Here lies one whose name was writ m water.’ 

® Letter from Severn to Brown written soon after Keats’s death, 
but never sent, (Colvin, p. 512 ) 

® Letter from Severn to Mrs Brawne, Rome, Feb. 12th, 1821. 



so that I thought he would live months at least if he 
did not recover he says 'he is still alive & calm, if I say 
more it will be too much, yet at times I have thought 
him better but he would not hear of it, the thought of 
recovery is beyond every thing dreadful to him — ^we 
now dare not perceive any improvement for the hope 
of death seems his only comfort, he talks of the quiet 
grave as the first rest he can ever have' — In that letter 
he mentions that he had given directions how he would 
be buried, the purse you sent him and your last letter 
(which he never read, for he would never open either 
your letters or mine after he left England) with some 
hair, I believe of mine, he desired to be placed in his 
coffin.^ The truth is I cannot very well go on at present 
with this, another time I will tell you more — ^what I 
wish to say now relates to yourself, my Mother is 
coming to see you very soon. If you are in Pancrass 
lane she will call next Friday, that is if it be not dis~ 
agreable to Abby.^ Do you think he would 
allow you to stay with us a short time? I have desired 
my Mother to ask him, though I do not know how she will 
prevail on herself to do it, for she is affraid of him, but 
M^® Dilke will be with her to give her courage — ^And 
now my dear I must hope you will favor me with your 
company, it will I assure you be a real favor. And yet 

^ Letter from Severn to Mrs Brawne, Rome, Feb. 12th, 1821. 

® Letter from Brown to Severn. ‘ I wrote to Haslam to call on Abbey, 
and if Abbey will permit it, Mrs. Brawne and Mrs. Dilke will call on 
Miss Keats. They are in mournmg next door." March 23rd, 1821. 



I hardly like to press you to make such a dull visit. I 
once hoped for a very different one from you, I used 
to anticipate the pleasure I should feel in showing every 
kindness and attention in my power to you. And I felt 
so happy when he desired me to write to you while he 
was away. I little thought how it would turn out. I 
have just recollected that perhaps you will not wish to 
come out so soon. Fix your own time my dear, only 
come. Will you have the kindness to write to me, by 
return of post, if you can, to say if Friday will be too 
soon for you to see my Mother, and if you will come, 
and when. I ask you with more confidence though there 
is little or nothing to amuse with us, because I have 
heard you lead a very dull life in Abbys family — 
but we will do as much as we can to amuse you and 
to prevent your thinking of any thing to make you un- 
happy. You must consider my Mother as more than 
a stranger for your brother loved her very much, and 
used often to wish she could go with him, and had he 
returned I should have been his wife and he would have 
lived with us.^ All all now in vain — could we have fore- 
seen — but he did foresee and every one thought it was 
only his habit of looking for the worst — ^Though you 
are the only person in the world I wish to see, I will 
own I do not expect it Your Guardian is said to be 
so much more than strict, and was so particular in refus- 

^ This IS the first intimation we have that had Keats recovered 
future arrangements had been made for their marriage. 



ing to let your brothers take you out, that I have not 
the least hope, but as much as we can do shall, with your 
consent, be tried and if it is m vain I will, before you 
leave London, call on you — If Abby should so far 

think of It to ask who we are, you may if you like say 
my Mother is a widow and has two children besides me, 
both very young — send me an answer as soon as you 
can conveniently — My mother desires her love to you 
and I send a thousand good wishes to my dear sister 
God bless her 


FRANCES BRAWNE 


I have recollected that perhaps you are in the country 
and will not have time to write so I will say Monday 
next for my Mother to see you instead of Friday — 
Should the day be Wet, tuesday will be better and so on 
till the first fine day unless you are other-wise engaged 
which you must let me know 

Postmart Camden Town, 28 Mar. 1821. 

Address: For Miss Keats, 
at Mr. Abbys 
Pancras Lane 
London. 


No. 9^ 

My dear Fanny Hampstead, May 23, 1821. 

I find by my pocket book it is above 3 weeks since 
I received your letter and I am afFraid you must have 

^ This letter is of great importance. In it Fanny Brawne bares her 
heart and mind on her feelings towards Keats. 



thought me neglectful in not writing before but as I 
have been staying that time in London and wished, 
when I did write to mention several things, I put it off 
till I should be by myself at home — In the first place 
only think of that Abbey after her promises to my 
Mother behaving as she has done. Not that I expected 
any thing better from her. Oh my dear, what a woman 
for a girl to be brought up with — ^The description I 
have had of her manners and conversation has quite 
shocked me. For you to look forward to S years more 
of It is dreadful — I find from my Mother that M^s Dilke 
was foolish enough to mention me to her in the way I 
so much wished to avoid, but she appeared to know it^ 
already and my Mother suspects from other things that 
passed, that she has read some of our letters. Do you 
think it possible, that she or any one of the family could 
get at them? You must know best, if you are sure it 
could not be the case I shall know my Mother was 
mistaken and that M^^ A. must have obtained her know- 
ledge by some other means for you see she was better 
acquainted with M^® Cornish than you supposed, indeed 
I should not have mentioned it at all but to put you on 
your guard. Should my opinion of her ever come to her 
ears she would prevent all intercourse between us, and 
really I could hardly blame her for so doing. When you 
write mention some day for your being in town with 
the hour you are sure of M^ Abbey being at home and 
^ Evidently as engaged to Keats. 



I will try what I can do with him. If there is any better 
plan you can think of, if it would be better to call on 
Abbey when you are not in town I will do that. I 
wish you more than ever to be with me were it but for 
a short time which it shall not be if I can persuade him 
to any thing. Do you not think my dear, a little com- 
plaisance or civility on your part might do something. 
But perhaps you dare not sound him on the subject 
and if it would be very unpleasant to you do not attempt 
it, at all events I shall wait for your letter before I do 
any thing. I thought when I began to write that I had 
a great deal to say and now I find I have half filled 
this letter without a word of what I had intended. I 
have not mentioned your brother. To no one but you 
would I mention him. I will suffer no one but you to 
speak to me of him. They are too uninterested in him to 
have any right to mention what is to you & me, so great 
a loss. I have copied a letter from Severn giving 
an account of the last days of his life.^ No one knows 
I have it but you, and I had not sealed it up, as I thought 
you might wish to see it, but if you do, you must pre- 
pare for great pain, if you would rather not make your- 
self again unhappy, do not read it. I think you will 
be wise. It took me a long time to write I have not 
looked at it since, nor do I mean to do so at present, 
but I mention it to you because though it gives pain, 
it also gives a certain kind of pleasure in letting us 
^ See Faimy Brawne’s copy of Severn’s letter to J olin Taylor, below. 



know how glad he was to die at the last. Dear Fanny, 
no one but you can feel with me — ^All his friends have 
forgotten him, they have got over the first shock, and 
that with them is all. They think I have done the same, 
which I do not wonder at, for I piave^ taken care never 
to trouble them with any feelings of mine, but I can 
tell you who next to me (I must say next to me) loved 
him best, that I have not got over it and never shall — 
It's better for me that I should not forget him but not 
for you, you have other things to look forward to — 
and I would not have said any thing about him for I 
was affraid of distressing you but I did not like to write 
to you without telling you how I felt about him and 
leavmg it to you whether the subject should be men- 
tioned in our letters — In a letter you sent me some time 
ago you mentioned your brother George in a manner 
that made me think you had been mislead about him. 
He is no favorite of mine and he never liked me so 
that I am not likely to say too much in his favor from 
affection for him, but I must say I think he is more 
blamed than he should be. I think him extravagant and 
selfish but people in their great zeal make him out much 
worse than that — Soon after your brother Tom died, 
my dear John wrote to him offering him any assistance 
or money in his power. At that time he was not engaged 
to me and having just lost one brother felt all his affec- 
tion turned towards the one that remained — George I 
dare say at first had no thoughts of accepting his offers 



but when his affairs did not succeed and he had a wife 
and one child to support, with the prospect of another, 
I cannot wonder that he should consider them first and 
as he could not get what he wanted without coming to 
England he unfortunately came — By that time your 
brother wished to marry himself, but he could not refuse 
the money. It may appear very bad in George to leave 
him 60 pounds when he owed 80, but he had many 
reasons to suppose the inconvenience would not last 
long. Your brother had a book of poems nearly ready 
to come out (which his illness kept back till the sum- 
mer) he had a tragedy which Brown calculated his 
share of would be about two hundred pounds and he 
was writing a story which had he lived to finish would 
if the others failed make up for it^ at least so every one 
imagined. — George could not forsee his illness — He 
might be a cause of the dreadful consequences but surely 
a very indirect and accidental one. At the same time I 
cannot defend him, lately his behaviour has been very 
selfish and I may say shuffling. As to his returning the 
money I don't believe he has ever had it in his power to 
return a farthing or ever will have, that may not be 
his fault. The person who suffered most never thought 
so very badly of it, he used to say, 'George ought not 
to have done this he should have recollected that I wish 
to marry myself— but I suppose having a family to 

^ Lamtaf Isabellaj Ike Eve of SL Agnes, and other poems, 1820. Tlife 
tragedy was OthotheGreal The ‘story’ may have hemThe Cap andBells* 



provide for makes a man selfish' — ^They tell me that 
latterly he thought worse of George, but I own I do 
not believe it — One thing is against him. I don't think 
he could ever have supposed it would be in his power 
to return the money, at the best not for many years — 
his brother never expected it at all, he always said he 
would not succeed — If when I write again I think of 
any thing for or against him I shall mention it — For I 
wish at any rate to put you on your guard — I have said 
I think him selfish — ^and I am affraid whenever you have 
your money in your own power you will find him 
troublesome but my dear girl be very cautious — be 
warned by what has already happened — and remember 
he IS extravagant at least every one says so. I don't 
know whether you will be able to connect and read all 
this — ^write as soon as you can — ever your affectionate 
sister & friend — 

FANNY 

Postmark^ 4 o'clock £1 My 18£1. Ev.^ 

Address' For Miss Keats, 

Richard Abbey's Esq , 

Walthamstow, 

Essex. 

No. 9 (Enclosure) 

Extract copied by Fanny Brawne from a letter of Joseph 
Severn to John Taylor, Apr. 16th, 1821 . The original letter 

^ Fanny Brawne made a mistake of two days in the date, 23rd 
instead of 21st. 



IS in the Amy Lowell Collection at Harvard College 
Library, and is partly quoted in her John Keats, ii. 5£8. 

'Four days previous to his death — ^the change was so 
great that I passed each moment in dread, not knowing 
what the next would have — He was calm and firm at 
Its approaches — ^to a most astonishing degree — He told 
me not to tremble for he did not think that he should 
be convulsed — ^he said "did you ever see any one die?" 
"no" "well then I pity you, poor Severn. What trouble 
and danger you have got into for me — ^now you must 
be firm for it will not last long. I shall soon be laid in 
the quiet grave — O! I can feel the cold earth upon me — 
The daisies growing over me — O for this quiet — it will 
be my first" — When the mommg light came and still 
found him alive how bitterly he grieved — I cannot bear 
his cries — Each day he would look up in the Doctor's 
face to discover how long he should live he would say 
"how long will this posthumous life of mine last" that 
look was more than we could ever bear. The extreme 
brightness of his eyes with his poor pallid face were not 
earthly — 

‘These four nights I watched him, each night expecting 
his death — on the 5*^ day the Doctor prepared me for 
it. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the poor fellow bade 
me lift him up in bed — ^he breathed with great difficulty 
and seemed to lose the power of coughing up the phlegm, 
an immense sweat came over him so that my breath 
felt cold to him. "Don't breathe on me it comes like ice" 



he clasped my hand very fast as I held him in my arms. 
The phlegm rattled in his throat, it mcreased but still he 
seemed without pain, he looked upon me with extreme 
sensibility but without pain, at 1 1 he died in my arms.' 
Marled on outside ‘2. From Mr. Severn. April 16th' ^ 


No. 10 


My dear Fanny 


Wednesday Qune 20, 1821 ]] 


I should have written to you a week ago but I waited 
to see if any thing could be done towards M^ or M^® 
Abbeys good opinion. How little we know what we 
may one day come to. If any one could have told me, a 
year ago that I should ever be angling for M^ Abbeys 
good opinion, I should have been surprized — Miss 
Robinson is so seldom in town that I am obliged to 
wait weeks, before I can get hold of her, but today I 
went with her to call on M^® Cornish to whom I gave 
a pressing invitation to come and see me at Hampstead. 
Miss Robinson knows my reason for wishing her 
acquaintance and has promised to brmg her some 
evening to drink tea which I hope will take place 
before she visits Walthamstow where, though she has 
a pressing invitation she cannot go at present as she 
has a great wash coming. God help us! great washes, 
no doubt take place in other families but are never men- 
tioned in company — ^And now my dear make the most 
of her if you see her. I am told she is very good 



heard that Doctor Johnson who saw it before the altera- 
tion said it was too much to bear and that nothing 
should induce him to sit it out again ^ — I am presuming 
that you have not read King Lear for I think you told 
me you had read nothing of Shakespeare's, Mr. Brown 
desired me to give you his compliments and to tell you 
that he has a large bible and prayer book which belonged 
to your grandmother which, if you like to have, he will 
send by the earner, he considers them as a sort of 
family relic and that you have the best right to them, — 
I think in one of your letters you said you should like to 
take opium but for the terrible penalty attending it, but 
I do not see why that should be a hindrance for it was 
only caused by the abuse of it. So take it — if you can — 
For my part I find but one obstacle, one, to be sure that 
I cannot conquer; which is the taste is so dreadfully 
disagreable that I who have only a decent resolution for 
taking physic, cannot go into a room where laudenum 
has been, without feeling — ^poorly. Not that I ever 
tried to swallow it for pleasure but toothaches will make 
you sufficiently acquainted with the beautiful flavour, 
to me the idea of drinking salts or senna to produce a 
pleasant feeling is a veiy odd idea I hope next time 
^ Fanny Brawne is shown m a new light in this letter, as a cntic of 
the drama. She was probably thinking of Johnson's critique of Lear 
in Keats's 1814 Shakespeare* *If my sensations could add anything 
to the general suffrage, I might relate, I was many years ago so shocked 
by Cordelia's death, that I know not whether I ever endured to read 
again the last scenes of the play, till I undertook to revise them as an 
editor,' 



CsO 

you go to the play, it will be to see Richard the third 
or Othello, then I think you will go out of your mind 
with pleasure. I never will write on half a sheet of 
paper again. I am sure my writing is not intelligible 
enough to make crossing pleasant to those who have 
to read it. 

Yours my dear Fanny very affectionately 

F B — 

Friday Night. 

No address or postmark. 


No. l£ 

Monday Oct^** 

My dear Fanny 

If I am not mistaken this is about the time you 
expected to be in London — I hope you will not forget 
to appoint some day for my seeing you Unless your 
time is very short I will not come should the day you 
mention prove wet but wait till the next and so on, for 
I need not say how I hate sloppy weather and at present 
there is no fixing on a day with any confidence — 

Dilke is in town and expressed a great wish to 
accompany me whenever I paid you a visit but I am not 
sure that I can arrange it so as to bring her next time. 
I hope you have kept yourself safe from all colds, for 
though early to begin I have got a very disfiguring one, 
no doubt through my boast to M^® Abbey that I never 
on any occasion caught cold. You have not I suppose 

p 



seen Guiterez,^ he called about a fortnight ago to 
take leave as he intended to pass a week or two at 
Walthamstow with his friend, W igram^ I think was 

the beautiful name I would have sent a letter to you 
by him but men are so stupid I was affraid of his losing 
it, besides thinking it very likely you might not meet. 
God bless you my dear Fanny I shall expect every day 
to hear from you 

Yours very affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark Hampstead, 4 o’clock, Oct. 8. 1821. Ev. 
Address For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esquire 
Walthamstow 

No. 13 


[^Undated. Late 1821.]] 

My dear Fanny 

I have almost changed my mind about visiting you 
at Walthamstow. I think I will wait till you come to 
town, which will not be above 3 or 4 weeks now. 
M^® Abbey would certainly stare and think it rather 

^ Tlus IS the first mention of Valentine Maria Llanos y Guiterez, 
afterwards known as Valentine Llanos, who was married to Fanny 
Keats in 1826 According to Gerald Griffin he knew Keats in Home, 
and came to England shortly after the poet’s death, possibly with an 
introduction from Severn to Brown and Mrs. Brawne. From the letter 
it IS evident that Llanos had often called at Wentworth Place before 
October 

® One of the twenty-three children of Sir Robert Wigram (1744f- 
1830) who owned Walthamstow Rouse. {Letters lix-lx.) 



presuming on her good nature, indeed I would rather 
have walked m the fields with you than have entered 
her house. I assure you she did not impose on me with 
all her concern for our thin shoes and damp feet. Her 
appearance surprized me. I expected a more portly 
redfaced dame She is much more m the motherly- 
nursey stile than I expected. Guiterez dined with us 
yesterday and told me he had seen an acquamtance of 
mine. After guessing for an hour to no purpose, for 
though I thought of you it seemed so improbable I did 
not mention it, my Mother found out; of course we 
laughed at him finely for his polite offer of calling on 
you.^ However I have informed him your guardian is 
particular and cautioned him against letting the family 
see you are acquainted. Don Valentine Maria Llanos 
Guiterez is a pretty name, is it not? he himself is every- 
thing that a Spanish Cavalier ought to be. Y ou need not 
be affraid of speaking to him for he is extremely gentle- 
manly and well behaved. My Mother has received 
a letter from M^ Severn but I did not wish to read it. 
Did you tell Guiterez you had seen a gentleman from 
Italy? If so, I suppose M^ Ewing has called on you.^ 

^ This remark indicates that Llanos was mtroduced to Fanny Keats 
before he formally called upon her at her guardian’s 

^ Wm. Ewing, sculptor, is frequently mentioned in Severn’s letters. 
He befriended Keats and Severn in the painful days preceding the 
former’s death, was present at his burial, and assisted Severn in his 
difficulties with the Italian health authorities Early m May, 1821, 
Ewing returned to England, bringing with him a letter of introduction 
to Charles Brown who, he records, ‘received me very kmdly 



CS63 


My Mother thinks it probable but I imagine it his 
mistake — I have only seen M^ Ewing for a few minutes 
almost in the dark but he seemed so fluttered and con- 
fused that I could make nothing of him; but he has 
claims on us both from his great kindness in Italy. God 
bless you my dear Fanny. 

PRANCES BRAWNE 


Monday Morn®. 

No address or postmark. 


No. 14 

Thursday evening [Nov. 15, 18S1.2 
I have been waiting, My dear Fanny, some time in 
the expectation of hearing you were arrived in London 
for the winter, afFraid to write lest the letter should be 
too late and without any means of ascertaining the truth 
as my brother^ was m the country and I do not know any 
one else in the habit of going to the city As soon as he 
returned I sent him with a note for you and heard to 
my great surprize you were not expected for a week. 
When you do come I shall be very glad to see you 
directly you find it convenient — I hope by that time 
you will have had an opportunity of reading some of 
your books — I don*t at all think you will succeed in 
making M*® Abby a literary lady — I go on as usual, 
reading every trumpery novel that comes in my way 

^ Samuel Brawne, then 17. He died at Wentworth Place, at the 
age of 23, in 1828. 



CSV] 

spoiling my taste and understanding, as for acquaint- 
ance I see none unless I take the trouble of going after 
them. Guiterez must needs call one day when there 
was no one at home so I know nothing of him — I have 
been a few days at Dilkes there I heard only one 
thing to please me, she has quarrelled, I hope for ever 
with the Reynolds. My dear Fanny if you live [[to^ the 
age of the Methuselem and I die tomorrow never be inti- 
mate with the Reynolds,^ for I dare say they will come 
your way — Dilke cannot keep up a feud and perhaps 
will be friends again. Every day I live I find out more 
of their malice against me — I don't know whether you 
wish particularly to see Dilke but I shall I think 
bring her yet. I like so much more to be with you by 
myself — 

I wish I knew what books you have read for I would 
write about them, there is nothing I like better to talk 
about unless it is to such a very great judge that I am 
affraid they will thmk all my delightful criticism non- 
sense. So I hope you are not one of these terrible per- 
sons or will not let me know it for depend on it I should 
neither open my lips or move my pen on the subject 
and so you would lose the benefit of my opinion — I 
^ In Papers of a CniiCj Sir C W. Dilke, Bt , writes (Memoir of C W. 
Dilke). ‘Miss Reynolds writes to Mrs Dilke, “I hear that Keats is 
going to Rome, which must please all his friends on every account. 
I sincerely hope it will benefit his health. Poor fellow! His mind and 
spirits must be bettered by it , and absence may probably weaken, if 
not break off, a connection that has been a most unhappy one for 
him.*' * 



must also beg you will not learn whole verses or chap- 
ters &c to dodge me for though I can remember pretty 
well generally I read too many things to do so parti- 
cularly — so what you may take for a proof of stupidity, 
is on the contrary through the great extensiveness of 
my studies. 

I was almost affraid of sending my brother to enquire 
after you, for he has got a white coat and I am afraid 
fancies himself a man so it would have looked suspicious, 
particularly if he had left the note 

Hoping to see you soon, I remain, my dearest Farmy, 
Yours most affectionately 

F. BRAWNE 

Postmark Hampstead 12 o’clock, Nov. 16 1821. ni Ev. 
Address: For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbeys Esq 
Walthamstow. 


No. 15 

Monday night. [[BetweenNov. 17th and Dec, 12th, 1821.;] 
My dear Fanny 

I have asked Mr. Brown to look for your age.^ Alas 
it is not there but if you will let me know where you 
were christened, if it be in London, my brother will get 
your register a day or so after I receive your letter — He 

^ Fanny Keats was 18 J. See Letter No. 11. ‘Mr. Brown . . has 
a large bible.* 



has been getting one for my aunt and knows the way — I 
have no pity whatever for your nerves because I have 
no nerves, but I think your dislike to the word criticism 
quite proper, it is a very ugly foolish word — and heaven 
forbid we should ever use it — ^you may rate your powers 
that way as low as you please but as I consider mine 
only worth three halfpence I dare say you won't think 
them lower than that — ^Don't suppose I ever open my 
lips about books before men at all clever and stupid men 
I treat too ill to talk to at all. Women generally talk 
of very different things — ^Don't you or do you admire 
Don Juan? perhaps you like the serious parts best but 
I having been credibly informed that Lord B. is not 
really a great poet,^ have taken a sort of dislike to him 
when serious and only adore him for his wit and humour. 
I am by no means a great poetry reader — and like few 
things not comic out of Shakespeare. Comedy of all 
sorts pleases me. I think Beppo nearly as good as Don 
Juan. When you read it you will notice that gratifying 
account of us English young ladies — I believe I did not 
tell you that Donna Inez was intended for Lady Byron 
to whom he wrote that fine sentimental. Tare thee 
weir. The character is beautiful and I have no doubt 
very like for I have heard Lady B. is a bluestocking. 
One thing is certain to me, which is, that it is impossible 
to write about books, for before you can get out your 
sensations about one Ime the letter is finished — ^but it 
^ A reflection of Keats's opimon of Lord Byron 



is always better to talk about them — ^Llanos was here 
the other day looking bad enough and more like a 
Frenchman than a Spaniard — I keep that name for best, 
and in common call him Guiterez — 

I who call on nobody have actually four calls and two 
visits to make as soon as the weather will suffer it, 
besides yours which is a visitation, in A's opinion 
at any rate. I do believe I always stay S hours and I 
should like to stay six — ^Don't suppose that is a bit of 
a compliment stuck in at the end of a letter for I never 
can make compliments which is no merit but a great 
awkwardness and particularly foolish in me who am not 
at all bashfull and hardly modest — I shall send this at 
a venture to London — If the day you appoint is very 
wet I will put it off to the next and so on — Good 
night I have got all my hair to curl, everybody is 
in bed and the fire half out — I shall put up prayers 
tonight that you may be able to make out most of this 
letter. 

Yours very affectionately 

F B 

No address or postmark. 

No. 16 

Thursday Dec. ISth ClSSlJ 

My dear Fanny 

before I began to write I thought I had a great deal 
to say to you and now I cannot recollect a word of 



any thing of consequence. You will find by the register 
I enclose that you are but 18 , for which I am very sorry 
but the register will always be of use particularly when 
you are of age to show Abbey as without so good 
an evidence he might doubt your word — I like 
Abbey's attempts the other day to make you but seven- 
teen — a worthless old woman You will see that I have 
not forgotten the story she told me — I saw Hender- 

son yesterday but quite forgot to ask her about it — I 
dined with Dilke a day or two after I saw you. She 
asked whether you were in town but luckily never in- 
quired whether I had seen you yet so I equivocated 
which you know is much the same as tellmg a story at 
once and said I did not mean to call on you at present 
for fear the Abbey's should think I came too often, true 
enough. 

We dine with them on Christmas day which is like 
most people's Christmas day's melancholy enough. 
What must yours be? I ask that question in no exulta- 
tion. I cannot think it will be much worse than mine 
for I have to remember that three years ago was the 
happiest day I had ever then spent,^ but I will not touch 
on such subjects for there are much better times and 
ways to remember them — I think you will like the 
great part of the Indicator I sent you — ^there are two 
pieces of poetry in it signed Caviare, by your brother ^ 

^ The day on which she probably became engaged to John Keats. 

^ The Indicator, the number of May 10th, 1820, contained * La Belle 
G 



I never open it for he is connected with every page — 
Tuesday Dec^^ 18 *^. When I had written so far 
I was called away and have never been able to finish 
till today — I was at a party last night the first real party 
I have been to this year — ^You would have laughed had 
you seen me dressed out m my cap &c — I did feel a 
little queer — I have not written to Mr Wyhe^ nor am 
I sure that I shall ever summon courage to do so — 
But you have no right to blame me for a little modesty, 
so dont feel disappointed if you never get the picture 
at all — ^To be sure it is very dishonest of him to keep 
it — I shall if I can find it, enclose you George's 
hair — and then you will not be able to accuse me of 
anything of the sort. 

I remam my dear Fanny 

Yours most affectionately f. b. 

Finding it is impossible which coloured hair I liked best 
of the two curls tied together, and once flourishing 
on my fair head, I have sent both — they will serve to 
show you the mutability of all human things — though 
as different as possible they were cut off within a year 
of each other — ^how my hair must have changed^ for the 

Dame sans Mercy % that of June 28th, the sonnet * As Hermes once*, 
both signed ‘Caviare*. Both printed for the first time. 

^ Henry or Charles Wylie, brothers-m~law of George Keats. 

® Amy Lowell, voL ii, p 135, writes* ‘She was prostrated and 
seriously ill for some time.* There is no mention of illness in these 
letters, hut the comment on the change m colour of her hair is curious. 



[ 45 ;] 

better or worse — ^The oddest thing is the dark one 
was cut off first. 

Postmark Hampstead, 12 o'clock, De. 19. 1821. 

Address. For Miss Keats 

No 4. Pancras Lane 
Cheapside — 

No. 17 

Sunday Evening [^Feb. 3rd 1822.^ 

My Dear Fanny 

I forgot the last time I saw you to ask whether you 
could spare me the two London Magazines with the 
English Opium Eater in.^ I do not want them for myself, 
but Brown, awkward enough, came for them the 
very day I sent them to you; as it was of no immediate 
consequence, I would not unpack them, particularly as 
I thought he might as well get them from the library, 
a day or two ago he mentioned them again, so, if you 
have read them I will send the carrier any day you like, 
but do not hurry, he only wants to consult something 
in them, which I have no doubt will be in as good time 
a month hence. The next time I come to see you I will 
be earlier whether M^® Dilke is with me or not — ^that 
is what makes me dislike bringing her she hkes me to 
set out from her house and I know she cannot be ready 
in time. I am very bad, but I can get ready on some 

^ First published m the London Magazine^ October and November, 
1821. 



occasions for instance, whenever I have come to see you 
It has been generally early enough. A few nights after, 
my brother and I went to the play with her and when we 
got there the first act was nearly over, exactly this time 
twelvemonth we went with her to the same place and 
just at the same time. To the end of all this I must 
however tack a little confession, that except Dilke 
I am the worst person in the world for being ready — 

You are a naughty girl for what little of your books 
you can read you never tell me a word about. I hope 
you will not, from my asking for the two books, hurry 
with the rest for you are perfectly welcome to them 
for years, which is saying nothing for nobody returns 
a Pamphlet or newspaper — ^under nine months. 

How I liked that sly question about Guiterez 
that morning. I did not dare look up for fear of laugh- 
ing but it amused me to see how people commit them- 
selves by trying to see through others. I felt so glad 
I had told you because I thought it must have delighted 
you as it did me. It was quite a scene — How very 
delightful It would be to have you with me tonight, I 
am quite alone. I am always glad to get my 'family' 
out (to provoke me they scarcely ever go) and then 
highly favored indeed is the person I would wish for 
or even admit. There is one and only one person in 
the world besides yourself that I would admit tonight 
and her coming is about as possible as yours. So you 
see you are highly favored — I was asked out to tea by 



some friends who thought I must feel ‘lonely ’ — ^for my 
part I think people are all mad — 

Tomorrow night I am gomg to the play and I think 
you will own I like it by the trouble I take, for I am 
obliged to walk to town, meet my brother, and walk 
home with him at night, because at certain parts of the 
year (that is, a month or two after quarter day) we 
can neither of us afford to ride — 

I remain my dear Fanny's 

Very affectionate Frances brawne — 

Postmark. 7 o’clock, Feb. 4 1822. Aft. 

Address For Miss Keats 

No. 4 Pancras Lane, 

Cheapside. 

No. 18 

Monday Morning [[March 18, 1822.[] 

My dear Fanny 

Though it is not above a month since I saw you the 
time seems unusually long. In a day or two I am going 
out for a few days and when I return I shall be so much 
engaged that I shall not call m Pancras lane for some 
weeks; which I do not regret for I dare say M^® Abby 
makes herself more disagreeable than usual whenever 
you have any of your friends to see you. What an un- 
comfortable way we are obliged to see each other in. 
Two years^ seems a long while to look forward, yet I 
^ Fanny Keats would be 21 on June 3rd, 1824. 



[ 46 ] 

do look forward to the end of that time and think with 
the greatest pleasure how different our acquaintance 
(I don’t like the word friendship) will be then, at least 
I hope so, and I am sure if you feel as well disposed 
towards it as I do, we shall be very happy together. 
One thing you can do, which is, to let me know if you 
go to any public places, exhibitions &c There I should 
feel more at my ease with you than in any house belong- 
ing to Abbey — If you write to me you had better 

direct as usual; my Mother will forward the letters 
One of the places I am going to is Hampton Court. I 
would give the world if you could go with me the 
palace is so beautiful, at least I think so, who never saw 
any other. If you see anything you like particularly in 
the books mind you mention it 
I remain yours affectionately 

My dear Fanny 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark: Hampstead, 12 o’clock, Mr. 18 1822. M 
Address. Miss Keats 

at Mr. Abbeys 

No. 4 Pancras Lane 
Cheapside. 

No. 19 

My dearest Fanny Hampstead May 7th C 1^22.3 
If you thought me bad before what must you con- 
sider me now — I am affraid past all forgiveness but 



when you hear that I only returned last night and then 
saw your letter for the first time, I hope you will own 
that 1 am not quite so bad 

The truth is that instead of staying a fortnight at 
Hampton I stayed nearly five weeks and then I was with 
Dilke a day or two before I went home. My 
Mother did not forward the letter because she did not 
know where I was and expected me every day, after the 
first three weeks I had two reasons for not writing 
to you, one was that I never write to any one when I 
am from home and the other that having no idea 
of staying so long I intended whenever I did write 
to fix a day for calling on you, for I never thought of 
your leaving town yet — ^liow very little I have seen of 
you this winter and yet I have only missed one oppor- 
tunity, which was just before I left home — ^now I think 
of it perhaps we shall meet at the exhibition I am going 
there with M^® Dilke in about ten days, but if, — ^when 
you go, you can give me a tolerable long notice, I think 
I can meet you there 

Your pigeons, my dear girl, I accept with the greatest 
pleasure, they come at a very good time, when I have 
just lost my favorite cat You must give me directions 
how to keep them and whether I am to get them a house. 
I hope they will stay with me — If a boy can bring them 
I will send to Walthamstow, if you like. You must 
tell me if they are to be kept indoors or out — ^We have 
no outhouses nothing but a tool house — ^Will they, if 



let out, join other pigeons and leave me? I ask these 
questions because I should be sorry to lose them through 
my inexperience. I mean to read what Buffon^ says of 
pigeons, tonight. 

I have read BufFon but he gives me no account how 
I am to feed them, so I must rely entirely on you. The 
very first time Abbey comes to town I will cer- 
tainly call on you — ^in a week's time I shall be staying 
with Dilke but I shall leave orders for all letters 
to be sent directly, though I have no doubt I shall hear 
from you before I go — If I happen to be staying there 
at the time you come to town I shall bring her with me, 
if I am at home I shall come by myself — ^which I should 
prefer. — 

Oh Fanny I wish to goodness you were two or three 
years older — I get quite disheartened when I think of 
it — I suppose you have seen by this time that Byron 
was very little concerned m the affair you mentioned, 
and that his being arrested is a mistake^ — I have been 
very comfortable and \^for at] Hampton. There is a 
palace there built by Cardinal Wolsey, a great part 

^ Comte deBuffon (1707-88). Published his iVafuraZHisfory, 1749-67 

® This probably alludes to the fracas between Lord Byron, Count 
Gamba, Captain Hay, Shelley and Trelawny, and the Italian hussar, 
who on passmg them on horseback violently jostled one of the party; 
Byron overtook him and there was a violent quarrel, following which 
the Englishmen were threatened with arrest. Blows were exchanged 
and Italian soldiers were wounded. Byron’s servants were arrested, 
and ultimately banished, and with them the Counts Gamba, father 
and son. See Medwin’s Conversations with Lord Byron^ 1824, p. 375. 



of it filled with pictures, I went over it several times 
and made a vow to myself — that as soon as you were 
free from your present slavery I would take you down 
to see it — Guiterez' brother is gone to join the 
independents in South America rather odd that, to fight 
against his own country^ — 

God bless you, dear Fanny 

Yours most affectionately f b — 

Postmark Hampstead, 8 o’clock. My. 8. 1822. Ev, & NL 
Address: For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esq. 

Walthamstow. 


No. 20 


[[Summer, 1822 

My dear Fanny 

I am a bad person to refer to, because you know my 
extravagance, but I really think over economy the most 
expensive thing there is, if you have a body to your 
grey silk you cannot get it made under a guinea or 
perhaps 25 shillings and it will be of very little use to 
you afterwards as short sleeves &c are not much worn 
out of full dress particularly to you who are not much 
in the habit of seeing company, not that I would advise 

^ The struggle for independence m Brazil. On Oct 12th, 1822, 
relations with Portugal were severed, and Dom Pedro was made consti- 
tutional Emperor. War followed, and the Portuguese fleet was de- 
feated by Lord Cochrane, commanding the Brazilian navy. 


H 



you to have a new dress if you cannot get it for SO 
shillings but I suppose you might have a clear muslin 
for that money, I mention clear muslin because a silk 
petticoat would not be necessary, as I know many who 
wear them without, and I dont think there is any differ- 
ence in the appearance, gowns are made quite plain so 
that there is very little expense as to trimming. I have 
seen some made in crepe lisse that would do very well 
for a pattern for muslin; with two folds of the same 
stuff as the gown, one straight round the bottom, form- 
ing the hem, the other brought to a point in front (on 
one side) and finished with a flower, in this manner. — 



If you should have it be sure to let them put no colours 
about the gown, nothing but white, indeed I do not like 
any sattin at all, the bands of course will be put in with 
small cords covered with muslin- as to the body I saw 
one the other day at Morgans made for a dance 
quite plain as to trimming something like the make of 
my red and black, but lower round the throat and con- 
fined at the shoulders in three bands so as to let the 
fulness go over the shoulders as well as in the front. 
The back something the same, but very little fulness 



except at the bottom of the waist. The sleeve as you 
see is a plain one of the usual size, with a frill round the 
arm, which you can put in lace this pattern will I think 



do for the grey body, if you find the muslin makes a 
great difference in the expence for then it certainly would 
be better to have the grey. I should be sorry to per- 
suade you to any extra expence, but you buy your things 
yourself and can therefore get them very reasonable 
and I believe they do not charge you a great deal for 
making them, you must not have a very coarse muslin. 
Still, if you are not likely to go to any more parties I 
really would have the grey. I think net sleeves out of 
the question. I believe this is all I can say on the subject 
— and now for a favor from you. Do if you have a hen 
pigeon to spare let me have it, but I would rather go 
without unless you can be certain it is a hen Perhaps 
you may have one that is a widow — by cats &c I dare 
not trust to one about which you are not certain for I 
have no room as it is, and Mary & Trutken are obliged 
to lodge m another house. 

The cats have taken Primrose, and I would not have 



any more but I have so many that have no wives. Do 
not hurry about pt] but when you go to Walthamstow 
if you can find one to suit me, let me know. I owe 
you a brownwings, but I have had no young ones yet 
though Trutken has be[|en]] setting for some time, but 
as he is a young beginner I suppose he will spoil the 
first pair or two. 

Yours truly, 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark torn 
Address, For Miss Keats, 

4, Pancras Lane, 

Queen Street, 

Cheapside. 

No. £1 

[[Summer, 1822J 

My dear Fanny 

I left Hampton last thursday summoned to town by a 
letter from Margaret^ to the following effect *Dear 
Fanny, for heaven's sake come home directly, M^ 
Romay^ leaves Hampstead on the 8th for Brussels' — 
This was nearly the whole of her letter and you may 
conceive the effect, every day seemed an age untill I 
could set to town. Alas, it is too true that he leaves 
Hampstead next Sunday, but there is a chance of their 
going to Guernsey instead of Brussels and I do not 
think they will leave London immediately, but did you 

^ Margaret was Fanny’s younger sister. 

® Mr. Romay: perhaps a teacher of music and dancing. 



ever know any thing more wretched^ Our hopes of 
comfort are at an end. You may take your leave of the 
guitar. When you write me I shall expect to hear that 
you are in despair. I will send the gown to Pancras 
Lane tomorrow but I am affraid you will find a high 
gown of little use especially as I guess by the blouse 
it will be rather a dress one, remember if you go to 
any dances next winter you will want a gown low to the 
neck, and from being thin you would look a thousand 
times better in white silk or muslin. If however you 
still intend to have a gown k la Jacke, there is a french 
sleeve worn that would be very becoming to you. The 
top sleeve I send you is 6 fingers and J wide. The sleeve 
I want to describe has the same sort of top but about 
eleven fingers wide and falls below the elbow where it 
is joined in with straps so as to set close to the arm. I 
will try to draw it, but it can be only to make you 
understand, not your dressmaker. 



What I have drawn is, God knows, as unlike a sleeve 
with an arm in it, as heart can wish, and gives no great 
idea of my skill in drawing; the fine strokes at the top 
are the gathers which are set in fine plaits, and the 



pieces between the straps are separate and of a equal 
size, it takes a great deal of silk, I dare say and you 
may not like the idea so do not be over persuaded to 
have it — if you have a double cape, which I think you 
ought with blouse it takes two yards and a half but I 
am not sure that fringe will not look richer unless it is 
to be full dress — I spent a tolerably pleasant S weeks at 
Hampton, I went to Windsor, which was the best part 
of it, I did not go to Hampton Court, as I know it very 
well, besides which, I told my Aunt I should like to take 
you to see it, so that any Saturday m the autumn that 
you will like to go with me she will be very glad to see 
you, only be sure to give me a weeks notice, but there 
will be time enough to talk of that I shall send this 
letter to Walthamstow that you may know the gown 
is in town Margaret and I are red hot to make a chinks 
gown apiece. Mme is to be h. la Jacke, a pattern she is 
unfortunately barred from, in consequence of the ob- 
stinate imitations of the 3 Miss Richardsons. 

If I write any more you will not get your letter 
today so 

I remain my dear Fanny 

Yours affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

I shall send the gown this morning. 

Finished Monday Morning. 

My Mother sends her love, and is extremely obliged 
to you for the melon which is a very fine one. Give our 



Comp*® and thanks to Abbey and remember me to 
Miss A — . 

Delivered by hand. 

Address. Miss Keats 

Richard Abbeys Esq. 

Walthamstow. 


No, ££ 

Friday. [^Summer, 18£2.3 

My dear Fanny 

I really am so teized by different things I scarcely 
know what I am doing. I have destroyed your letter 
forgetting you wanted an answer about your pelisse I 
would have written yesterday but thinking I remem- 
bered you were to be in town tomorrow I wanted to 
ask you to come here tomorrow night, and I would if 
I could, go to town with you Monday morning. This 
I am prevented from doing as my Aunt is staying here 
and should she remain I should not be able to give you 
a bed, but she may be gone and at all events I will send 
a note to you in Pancras Lane by the carrier tomorrow, 
if you are in town I hope you will come if I am able 
to say in it that she is gone. She talks of doing so, most 
positively, but my Mother may persuade her to alter 
her mind — I shall send this to Walthamstow though in 
the greatest uncertainty whether you may not be in 
town, so in the letter to town tomorrow I shall repeat 



all I have said now. — ^The reason I want you to come 
IS that the Romay’s leave town next Wednesday, and 
they may come out on Sunday, though I know nothing 
about it as I am now expecting them, but in conse- 
quence of a horrible train of mistakes which have nearly 
driven me mad, I am much affraid they will not come — 
You must come if my Aunt is gone. The Abbeys cannot 
think it strange of your coming for so short a time if 
however I am prevented from seeing you the best 
dressmaker I know is gell, 62 Newman Street — 
Oxford Street — She is not very expeditious but as she 
cannot have much to do at this time of the year, if you 
fix your time she may let you have it soon enough — if 
you prefer Morgan, her direction is S7, St. James’ 
Place, St. James’ Street — but she is very expensive, 
you had better know the price in either case and I think 
it would be as well to mention my name. — 

Yours very affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

My Mother thinks my Aunt will stay plague take it 
but I shall write again — 


No address or postmark. 



Z3T2 

No. 23 

Saturday Mom [^August, 1822]] 


My dear Fanny 

I met Wylie a short time ago, and he told me he 
believed his brother had called on you — If he did so, on 
the day he intended I think it would have been about 
four days after you left London — I asked him where 
you could send your letter he did not tell me his 
brother's direction but said you had better enclose it 
to him, at No. 1 1 Union Terrace Camden town The 
postman did not cheat you about the papers, I find they 
must be put m at Lombard Street to go free, and then I 
am not sure that they may not charge a penny for each 
— ^Let me know if they do so, I shall miss one week's 
paper as it is not a very proper one — I want to send 
you a magazine and a volume of Shakespeare, how shall 
I get them to you? I am affraid my pigeons will soon 
be building another nest — I find it will not be possible 
to get them out of the present one I must wait till they 
choose to bring the young ones, but as they are said to 
lay every month and it is three weeks smce they began to 
set I am affraid the hen will have eggs in another week 
or ten days particularly as some people tell me they 
appear to be building in a fresh place. A book that I 
have read says ‘should the cock or hen be lost when they 
have young, the remaining parent will bring them up', 
and it also says that, ‘soon after the young come out 

i 



of the shell the hen leaves them to the cock and lays 
again*. Should you think it would be safe for me to 
confine the hen by herself? I shall do nothing till I 
hear from you which I hope to do, the beginning of the 
week — It is very easy to catch them. I am so fearful 
of losing the post that I will leave off here 

Yours affectionately my dear Girl 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark imperfect Au 1822. N 
Address For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esq. 

Walthamstow. 

No. 24 

Tuesday Morning [[Oct 15, 1822.]] 

My dear Fanny 

I should have written to you some time ago but I 
have had a bad hand from a gentle bite given me by my 
dog,^ even now I am not sure you will be able to read 
what I have written for my hand is so tied up that I 
can scarcely make use of the pen, however you must 
try — I am quite in despair about my pigeons, I believe 
they are the most refractory pair in the kingdom — ^they 
never lay more than one egg and never make anything 
of that — After the one I told you they had quarrelled 
with, they had another which they broke immediately, — 
again about a week back they laid one which untill last 
^ ‘ Carlo, Mrs. Brawne’s dog.* {tellers, p 459 ) 



night they sat on with great care, but this morning it was 
found pushed out of the nest like the first and cracked so 
awkwardly had they performed the operation. I men- 
tion Its being cracked because that might be the reason 
they would not hatch it — It is supposed they must have 
had a matrimonial quarrel in the middle of the night 
for a great scream was heard at that time by my 
Mother from one of them after which all was quiet — 
Now in applying to you to know whether you can 
account for it I consider I am taking counsers opinion 
on the subject so pray give it with all due gravity — I 
must just add that I am pretty certain no one had in any 
way touched or molested them — ^in consequence of my 
hand I have [[not] fed them [[myself] this fortnight or 
more, but the housemaid who has done them for me, 
IS by no means a person to touch forbidden things 
particularly as she knew the consequences — and we 
only knew they had an egg by their constantly setting, 
— so much for them. I will try them in confinement a” 
little longer, after that if they do no better they shall 
be left to themselves — Dilke is returned and next 
time I call to see you I shall bring her if I know of it 
in time, Brown is safely arrived at Pisa and in spite 
of his vow has made an acquaintance with Lord Byron, 
he liked him very much^ — I have been reading Gil 

^ Brown arrived at Pisa on Aug 31st, 1822, where he met Byron 
and Trelawny. In an unpublished letter from Severn to his father, 
Dec 7th, 1822, Severn writes ‘Then I meet my friend Mr Brown in 
Florence, who is to introduce me to Lord Byron.’ In a later letter to 



Blas^ again and I like it as well as ever, but I do not 
wonder at your disappointment for it is so totally 
different from Don Quixote and wants the romantic 
parts so much besides showing so much of the worst 
part of the world that to many people it must be a very 
disagreable book — I remember hating it at first — I 
will not write any longer for fear of straining my hand 
Yours very affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Postmark 12 o’clock, Oc 15 1822 
Address. For Miss Keats, 

Richard Abbeys Esq 
Walthamstow. 

No. £5 

Undated. [;Oct 29, 1822.;] 

My dear Fanny 

I intended to have called in the city for three days 
last week but was prevented each time: twice by com- 
pany and once by the weather, so that I shall call some 
day next week and take the chance of seeing you. Not 
that I much expect you to be there, but as I shall be 
going to see a friend it will not be out of my way. 
Thank you for your enquiries about my hand, it would 
not have been so bad but the dog was ill at the time 

his sister he mentions that Lord Byron and Trelawny are preparing 
to go to Greece, and defends them against their bad reputation m 
England. ^ By A. R. Le Sage. 



he did it and the doctor thought it better to provide 
against the consequences that always may follow a dog's 
bite Carlo was not the least in the wrong it was en- 
tirely my fault, he, poor fellow is since dead from 
something he had swallowed, but I shall have quite a 
long story to tell you about it when we meet — I shall 
certainly take your advice about the pigeons, but at 
present I am waiting till they lay again, which will 
make things safer, and which I expect them to do very 
soon, they generally set on the egg a few days before 
they have the misfortune to break it which accident, I 
really believe happens from their fondness for it, as 
both wish to hatch at once; it is people of this dis- 
position that invariably spoil their children and bring 
them up such plagues as no doubt I was, and for what 
I know may be still There is, I think, every prospect 
of a reconciliation between Dilke and the Reynolds', 
for J. Reynolds is married,^ the Dilkes have called 
on him and have been informed that his sisters are very 
anxious to make up the quarrel, line fun it will be to 
see them together. I shall send you the papers up to 
last Sunday but that of today is at present lent to a friend 
and I would not wait any longer before I wrote — I 
always send the papers and a letter together as I fancy 
the postman's visits might occasion suspicion if too 
often repeated — I hope I do not miss any, but I am 

^ John Hamilton Reynolds married Miss Eliza Powell 0rewe 
Aug. 31st, 1822. 



sure to forget the date of the last you had. I also hope 
you do not pay anything now — 

I remain. My dear Fanny 
Yours affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

I see I have mentioned m the beginning of my note that 
it is owing to the doctor my hand was so bad; but as I 
have not told you what was done, perhaps you will 
fancy, as my cousins did, that a terrible operation was 
performed, my hand dissected and half-carried away 
and a most delightfully horrible story it was, but un- 
fortunately for those who delight in these wonders I 
had only a little caustic applied, which is nothing at all 
to talk about — 

Postmark Fenchurch St. 4 o’clock, Oc 29 1822 Ev. 
Address: For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esq 
Walthamstow. 


No. 26 


Undated. 082S 3 

My dear Fanny 

Upon looking at my Shakespeare^ I find it so very 
large that you would not be able, without great in- 

^ Tlus was the facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s Works, 
given by Keats to Fanny Brawne before he left for Italy Now in the 
Keats Museum. 



convenience to take it home with you particularly with 
the addition of other books. — I have therefore sent you 
Spencer^ instead, which you will feel the more pleasure 
in reading as you will find the best parts marked by 
one who I have heard called the best judge of poetry 
living — ^they were marked for me to read and I need 
not tell you with what pleasure I did so. Keep them 
as long as you wish for I never open them now. The 
serious poems of Lord Byron were given me by a 
schoolfellow, who was once my great friend but as this 
friendship has gone off into a mere acquaintance I do 
not feel bound to keep ^them^ for her sake you are 
therefore Wellcome to them if you think them worth 
keeping. I can remember being half wild about them 
learning and repeating continually when alone but as 
my dear Keats did not admire Lord Byrons poetry as 
many people do, it soon lost its value with me. If I 
am not mistaken he thought Manfred one of the 
best — 

Of the rest Beppo is now known to be his; I send 
the Vampire^ which has nothing particular to recom- 
mend it, but being at first published as Lord B ’s, 

who however did not write it — ^Beppo and the first 
Don Juan are considered by all very clever. The second 
volume of Don Juan you will not I think like so well — 

^ Keats writes to Fanny Brawne, May, 1820 * I have been employed 
in marking the most beautiful passages m Spenser, intending it for 
you.’ The book was lost in Germany, 

® The Vampire^ a tale, by John Wm. Pohdori. 1819 London 



I shall be glad to hear how you like the different books — 
I send but one magazine on account of the size but you 
mentioned having so little prose that I thought it might 
not be unpleasant — ^The review on Endymion is written 
by a Patmore,^ who was much talked of some time 
ago through a duel he was second m. You I dare say know 
that the Scott killed was the editor of this very maga- 
zine^ — If I do not find the parcel too large I will put 
in the second magazine^ because you will find in it all 
that occasioned the duel — ^The articles called table talk 
are very good — they are by Hazlitt — ^those signed 

Elia are considered very beautiful — Charles Lamb is 
the name of the author. In this I give your dear 
brother’s opinion as far as I could get it now^ — all these 
books are of no consequence to me and I read only the 

^ Peter George Patmore (1786-1855), father of Coventry Pat- 
more 

® John Scott and J. H Christie fought a duel following Scott’s 
denouncement of ‘Z’ in the London Magazine Lockhart challenged 
Scott, but his friend Christie took his place Scott was mortally 
wounded and died six weeks later The London Magazine for March, 
1821, states m ‘ The Lion’s Head* that the meeting took place * between 
Mr Scott and the friend of Mr. Lockhart’s on Friday, February the 
16th, and it was hoped that the imminent danger which attended the 
wound had subsided ’ ‘The Lion’s Head’ is dated Feb 26th, 1821 
Fanny Brawne took some interest in the Scott-Chnstie duel, for Brown 
writing to Thomas Richards on Feb 18th, 1821, says* ‘Miss Brawne 
has just told me she has heard that the ball has been extracted, and 
that Scott IS likely to recover.’ 

® The London Magazine Fanny Brawne was evidently sending 
bound volumes, not monthly parts See next letter. 

^ Keats records his adimration of Hazlitt; that he admired Charles 
Lamb also is new. 



most amusing — Any of them you already have it will 
be better to pack up and leave in town, then let me 
Imow by a letter and I will send my carrier who is as 
good as a footman — The Shakespeare I will send when 
you are in town for the winter, it will then amuse you 
and there will be no trouble in carrying it about — ^When 
you write will you tell me what you know of your 
brother George, yesterday I forgot to ask.^ — Dilke 
IS anxious to know where he is, as William Dilke^ 
would like to write to him — I went to Westminster 
after I left you yesterday and tomorrow I go there 
again. Dilke desired her best love and was very 
much disappointed she had not seen you 

Now I must, like the country people beg pardon for 
all mistakes but I have written in such a hurry, expect- 
ing the carrier every minute, that I hardly know what 
I am about as you will see — I remain my dearest girl 
Yours most affectionately 

F. BRAWNE 


No Postmark. 

Address: Miss Keats 

^ George Keats had settled at Louisville, Kentucky, U.S A. 

® C. W. Dilke’s brother, who had built a house on an adjoining plot 
of land, naming it Went^vorth House. 



[ 66 :] 

No. £7 

[Monday, July £8, 18£3 2 

My dear Fanny 

You are usually so punctual a correspondent that I 
am quite surprised I have not heard from you in answer 
to my note from Hampton Not that it is of any con- 
sequence for I left Dilke last Wednesday, three or 
four days sooner than I expected in consequence of 
M^ W. Dilke’s being expected in London, for fear 
there should be any mistake between your town and 
country house I shall get my brother to enquire in 
Pancras lane, for your present residence. I have been 
from home so much during the last three or four months 
that I am quite bewildered as to the dates of the last 
magazines &c. you have received I which [/or wish]] 
you would write me word whether you would like all 
the papers you have missed and what the last was you 
received. If you have finished Spencer or any of the 
bound magazines I will send you some more. I have 
so few books that I cannot lend you all I wish you to 
read, as I am obliged to get them from the library, but 
the other volumes of Shakespeare you can have when 
ever you like — I passed a pleasant time at Hampton 
and saw my old favorite Hampton Court several times. 
I hope to take you there yet, only a twelvemonth,^ 
Fanny, from last June You had better begin M^® 
Abbey's veil soon or she will never have it, bye the 
^ Referring to Fanny Keats’s coming of age on June 3r(l, 1824. 



US? 3 

bye I have learnt some stitches for that sort of work and 
if you like I will show them to you. I hope to see you 
soon, 

and remain, yours very affectionately 

FRANCES BRAWNE 

Monday — 

Postmark Lombard St Ev. Jy 29 1823. 

Address' For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esq. 

Walthamstow. 

No. 28 

C;Nov. 16, 1823 3 

My dear Fanny 

Heaven knows how you have gone on with the allum 
baskets but I am annoyed to death — I sent to a lady 
to know the quantity of logwood^ I ought to put and her 
answer was that she had never in her life mentioned log- 
wood to me but that cochineal would have the same 
effect. I had not time then to write to you and instead 
of returning home in a few days as I expected I stayed 
out a fortnight; since I came home I have tried two 
baskets and could not make either of them do well The 
cochineal instead of turning to lilac makes a faint pink 
which IS very pretty — I powdered it first very fine put 
some boiling water on it and poured it into a saucepan 
when nearly cold. To a gallon and a half of water I 
put as much cochineal as came to a penny After I 
wrote to you I saw a basket at M^® Dilkes which 
^ A vegetable dyestuff used for fabrics. 



I admired so much that it induced me to try my luck, 
instead of being crossed, it was entirely covered with 
allum and very faintly coloured with the logwood, if 
you still wish to try logwood with yours you had 
better mix certain quantities together and see how it 
looks when dry — But no doubt I shall see you soon and 
can tell you more about it — I met the Lancasters at a 
quadrille party at the Davenports^ — I think Miss Lan- 
caster plain and very common and ungenteel looking, 
Guiterez was there, the beau of the room^ — He has 
been here this morning and I expect him again to- 
night — ^Would you believe it I quarrelled with him but 
I hope It is now made up — ^for the defence of my 
character, I must mention that he was quite in the wrong 
— I don't luiow whether I mentioned that Miss Row- 
croft IS going to South America immediately 
I remam my dear Girl 

Yours very affectionately 


FRANCES BRAWNE 

Sunday evening 
Postmark Nov 17, 1823. 

Address: For Miss Keats 

Richard Abbey’s Esq. 

Walthamstow 

^ Burndge Davenport lived in Church Row, Hampstead. Keats 
frequently visited Mr and Mrs. Davenport when living at Wentworth 
Place. There is an unpublished letter m the British Museum, dated 
November, 18X8, from Keats to Mrs Davenport thanking her for her 
inqmnes about Tom's health. 

^ It IS evident that by this date Llanos was well acquainted with 
the friends of Uie Brawnes in Hampstead. 



[ 69 ;] 

No. £9 

Friday pF'eb 27, 1824.3 

My dear Fanny 

If I do not write to you tonight I shall not send you 
a letter for two or three weeks as I am very busy at 
present with some work I want finished at the begin- 
ning of next week. Miss Rowcroft is very ill, confined 
to her bed with inflammation of the lungs but I do not 
expect them to go for two or three weeks — ^Don’t 
alarm yourself about Miss Lancasters appearance, I 
trust you would cut a better figure than she did. You 
might feel shy at first (which is not that I know of her 
failing) but any person of sense who goes out a little 
can soon get over all that — dress, manner and carriage 
are just what she wants, a person must be a great 
beauty to look well without them, but they are certainly 
within the reach of any body of understanding — ^per- 
haps Miss L. might look particularly bad that night 
Don’t suppose it was a grand party there could not be 
above forty people and their rooms are small, but it was 
a very pleasant one — ^we are going there next week, 
only to a card party a piece of the entertainment I could 
dispense with — Margaret Davenport^ is rather a gen- 
teel girl and I think I told you the second sister is very 
pretty — ^Lancaster is likely to be at our house tomorrow 
night but I don’t know that I shall be at home — The 
only place to get the baskets that I can find is the 
^ Daughter of Burndge Davenport See note above. 



bazaar dont you think M^s Abbey will let you walk 
there with me? I will be with you by ten o'clock and 
we may be back in time for your dinner for I suppose 
it impossible to get off from the unconscionable hour 
of half past two — ^Did I ever think to hear of people 
dining at such a time in a Christian country — I have got 
a new pigeon a husband for one of my single ladies but 
the other is such a beauty ( they call her a dragon pouter) 
that I shall wait till I can marry her more to my satisfac- 
tion — ^The newcomer is a dragon runt — Miss Rowcroft 
is not in the city but if she returns there and I go to 
see her I shall call on you, whether I have heard from 
you or not — My Mother was in Pancras Lane the other 
day to enquire after your health for you had not written 
for some time and I was affraid you were ill, she saw the 
coachman and sent her compliments which I think it 
probable he kept for his own benefit — It will ever re- 
main a mystery to me whether it is possible to read a 
letter written in this greasy mk, I have all but sworn at 
It — If you will have read the single magazines especially 
those with the Spanish poetry, by the time I see you 
I will, if you please, bring them away as I am asked to 
lend them to a gentleman — ^With compliments to M^® 
and Miss Abbey I remain 

yours very affectionately 

F B — 

Let me know whether M^® A. is hkely to let you 
take a walk with me that I may be with you early — I 



shall be obliged to go and see Miss Rowcroft tomorrow 
but she is not near you even were you in town — f b 

Postmark. Hampstead. 27 Feb 24. Night 
Address: Miss Keats 

Richard Abbeys Esq. 

Walthamstow. 

No. 30 

□line 2, 1824.3 

My dear Fanny 

Your letter has quite shocked me, can it indeed be 
four months since I wrote to you } I am certain you 
must possess the most forgiving disposition in the 
world to write to me after such neglect. Except that 
I ought to be and generally am, more careful in remem- 
bering you, than any one else, I could assure you that 
you are by no means the only person towards whom I 
deserve to be ashamed of my behaviour. Miss Row- 
croft's brother, came here a few weeks ago, entirely to 
give me news of her and to beg of me to write to her 
immediately which I have not yet done; as to M'® 
Dilke I believe she is quite afiFronted with me. Don't 
suppose that I should not have shame enough to keep 
these things, only you seem to suspect that while I 
neglect you I may be more attentive elsewhere, this is 
so far from the case, that you have been untill veiy 
lately the only person excepted from my general in- 
attention. Lancaster was at our house last Wednesday 



and promised to call here on Sunday for some books for 
you, but I suppose he forgot it as I have never seen him, 
so I shall bring them on thursday. I have not forgotten 
that the 18th of June is your birthday ^ I am invited 
to a party for that night 

I must now conclude as I wish the letter to go by this 
post and the clock has struck 

Yours very affectionately 

F B 

I will see you thursday 

Postmark, Hampstead, June 2nd 1824. 

Address, Miss Keats 

4 Pancras Lane 
Cheapside 


No. SI 


[June 16, 1824 3 

My dear Fanny 

I have this instant received your letter. I intended 
writing to you before thursday as I shall then go to 
town for two or three days, not that I had any thing 
particular to say for I had only mentioned the subject 
to my brother, who thought you had not the slightest 

^ Faimy Keats was born on June 3rd, 1803, and became of age the 
day she received this letter. It is strange that Fanny Brawne made this 
error about the date of her birthday (June 18th), but apparently she 
became aware of her mistake before she wrote the next letter (the last), 
as she makes no mention of the birthday and clearly regards Fanny 
as of age. 



reason to alarm yourself as A. is considered beyond 
all dispute as a man of large property^ — ^The losses you 
mentioned are well known in the city but he is con- 
sidered very rich in spite of them As to your own 
affairs he thought you could at present do only what I 
told you, ask for an explanation, but as you have now 
done that I need not say any more about it, nor shall I 
now recommend all the patience and conciliation with 
A. I had intended, as you seem to consider, with 
me, that he has acted to the best of his judgement. You 
are now at liberty and may do as you like and I hope 
one of the first things you do will be to come and see 
me, you must fix your own time and I leave it to you 
because you will know what to do so as not to offend 
or Abbey who having been used so long to 
have their own way, may like you to act for yojurself 
with as much civility to them as you can make it con- 
venient to show. — I shall return home on Saturday and 
I have no engagement till after the first two or three 
days in July, then I expect to go to Hampton but the 
time is not yet fixed nor can I exactly tell when I can 
go, as I have been invited to go to Cambridge in July 
and I must know the time for that expedition before I 
can determine on the other If you well can come and 

^ After she became of age Fanny Keats had considerable difficulty 
in obtaining from Richard Abbey the money of which he had control. 
Charles Wentworth Bilke came to her aid, and eventually she received 
not only her share of the money left by her grandmother, but also that 
due to her from the estates of her brothers John and Tom. 



see me now, do, I am very impatient to see you but do 
not like to press you too much least I should persuade 
you to do what you do not think right, this much I must 
say that nothing would give me so much pleasure. I 
cannot send this note till I can see my cousins to en- 
quire whether there is any more particular name for 
the quadrilles than I am acquainted with. This letter 
has been kept back a whole day because, though I wrote 
immediately to my cousin to know the set of quadrilles 
and she came here purposely to tell me we each forgot 
to mention the subject. ‘Musard's I7th Set from the 
Gazza Ladra'^ is the one I like, and after that Hart's 
7th Set from Pietro UEremite but it is not necessary 
to do more that [/or than^ to mention the numbers 
of the set, I give you the name of the Opera to make 
you more certain 

I remain my dear Fanny 
Yours very sincerely 

F B 

Finished Wednesday night. 

Postmart Fenchurch St. 17 June. 1824. 

Address' For Miss Keats 

at Richard Abbey's Esq. 

Marsh Street 
Walthamstow, 

^ La Gazza Ladra (‘The Thieving Magpie’), comic opera, music by 
Rossini, first produced in London on Mar 10th, 1821. Pietro VEremita 
(better known as Mosi in Bgiito), opera, music by Rossini, first pro- 
duced in London on Apr 23rd, 1822. 




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INDEX 

Reference to the notes are indicated by the me of italic figures 

Abbey, Miss, 55, 70 Brawne, Samuel, Jr , xix, 36, 

Abbey, Mrs , xvi, xxiv, xxv, 38. 

5, 6, 8, 20, 23, 29, 30, 33, Brawne, Samuel, Sr , xix 
36, 40, 41, 45, 48, 56 Brazil, 49 

Abbey, Richard, xiii, xvi, Brockmann, Count, xxvii 
xxin, xxv, 5, 16, 20, 21, Brockmann, Elena, xxvii 

22, 23, 24, 29, 41, 46, 55, Brockmann, Enrique, xxvii 


56, 73, 76. 

Bailey’s Dictionary^ xvii 
Bell, Mrs , 56 

Blunden, Edmund, xviii, xxv. 
Brawne, Frances, or Fanny 
(afterwards Mrs. Lindon), 
xiii, XIV, XVI, xvii, xxiv, 
xxv, XXVI ; biographical 
note, XIX, writes to Keats, 
16, betrothal to Keats, 16, 
21, on Keats’s illness, 19, 
copies letter from Severn, 
24, 27, her hair, 42, visits 
Hampton, 46, 48, 52, 54, 
66, 73, keeps pigeons, 47, 

51, 57, 58-9, on dress de- 
signs, 49 et seq , 53, goes 
to Windsor, 54, her aunt, 
54, 55, 56; Carlo, the dog, 

58, 60-1 , visits Mrs Dilke, 

66 . 

Brawne, Margaret, xix, xxi, 

52, 54 

Brawne, Mrs , xiv, xvi, xix, 
5, 6, 12, 16, 14, 16, 16, 17, 
19, 20, 20, 21, 22, 23, 64, 
35, 36, 46, 47, 54, 55, 56, 

59, 70, nurses Keats, xx, 2 


Brown, Charles, xix, xx, xxvi, 
2, 10, IS, 16, 20, 26, 32, 64, 
65, 38, 43, 59, receives 
letter from Keats, 9, 1 1 
Buffon, 48 
Byron, I^dy, 39 
Byron, Lord, 39, 48, 59, 59, 
63 

Caley, Miss, xxm. 

Cambridge, 73 
Cap and Bells , The, 26. 
Christie, Jonathan Henry, 64. 
Clark, Dr. James, 10, 10, 12, 
14, 14, 28 

Colburn, Henry, xxvi 
Colvin, Sir Sidney, xiv, 4, 5, 
7, 9, 17, 19. 

Cornish, Grace, 5. 

Cornish, Mrs , 1, 5, 7, 7, 23, 
29, 30 

Cotterell, Charles, 10, 10 
Cotterell, Miss, 10, 10. 
da Cunha, Chevalier, xxi 

Davenport family, 68, 68. 
Davenport, Margaret, 69 
Dilke, Charles Wentworth, 
XIX, xxv, 76 



Dilke, Mrs Charles Went- 
worth, XIX, XXV, 1, 4, 5, 8, 
16, J6, £0, 20, 23, 30, 31, 
33, 37, 41, 43, 44, 47, 48, 
59, 61, 65, 66, 67, 71 
Dilke, Sir Charles Went- 
worth, Bt , 37 
Dilke, William, 65, 65, 66 
Don Esteban, xxvi 
Do ;2 Qmxote, 60 
Drewe, Eliza Powell, 6i 
Dusseldorf, xxi 

Edmiston, Miss, 31. 

Ellis, James, SL 

Ellis, Mrs Oswald, xvii, xxi 

Ellis, Robinson, SI 

Elliston, Robert William, SI 

‘Endymion’, 64 

Ewing, William, 35, 35, 36. 

Forman, H Buxton, xiv, xxv 
Forman, M Buxton, vii, 
xviii, 6, 9, Ji 

Gamba, Count, 48 
Gil Bias, 59 
Goss family, 5. 

Goss, Mrs , 7, 8, 30 
Griffin, Gerald, xvii, xxv, 
xxvi, 34. 

Gmterez, see Llanos y Gui- 
terez 

Harvard College Library, 28 
Haslam, William, 2, 3, 5, 7, 
7, 9, 20, 

Hay, Captain, 48. 

Hazlitt, William, 64. 
Henderson, Mrs., 41 


Indicator, The, 41, 41. 
Inverness, xix 

Jennings, Mrs , xxm 

Kean, Edmund, 31, 31 
Keats, Frances Mary, or Fanny 
(afterwards Mrs Llanos), 
xiii, xiv, xvii, XX, 17, 20, 
biographical note, xxiii, 
family Bible and prayer 
book, 32, her birthday, 45, 
72, 72 

Keats, George, xix, xxiv, 1, 
11, 25, 26, 27, 42, 65, 65 
Keats House, Hampstead, xm, 

XIV 

Keats, John, xv, xvii, xix, xx, 
xxm, xxiv, xxv, 4, 5, 10, 

11, 25, 32, 37, 41, 41, 64, 
leaves England, 1, reaches 
Naples, 7, m quarantme, 9, 
opens no letters, 10, his last 
letter, 11, rides horseback, 

12, relapse, IS, Taylor’s 
financial assistance, 15, 
death, 19, 20, 28, his 
opinion of B 3 n*on, 39, 63. 

Keats, Mrs. George, 11, 42. 
Keats, Rosalind, 1 1 
Keats, Thomas, Jr , xix, xxiv, 
25 

Lamb, Charles, 64 
Eamia, Isabella, &c , 26 
Lancaster, Miss, 68, 69, 71. 
Lmdo, Louis, xxi. 

Lmdon, Edmund, xxi 
Lindon, Herbert Brawne, xxi. 
Lindon, Margaret, xxi. 



Lmdon, Mrs. Louis, see 

Brawne, Frances 
Llanos, Mrs , see Keats, 

Frances 

Llanos y Guiterez, Valentine 
Maria, xiii, xxi, xxv, xxvi, 
34, S% 35, 37, 40, 44, 49, 
68,68 

Llanos y Keats, Rosa, xiv 
London Magazine, The, 43, 54. 
Louisville, 66 

Lowell, Amy, xiv, 4, 28, 42 

McColvm, Lionel R , xviii 
Madrid, xxvi, xxvii 
Maria Crowther, 1,2, 10, 
Medwm, Thomas, 48 
Morgan, Mrs , 50, 56 

Naples, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12 

Otho the Great, 26 

Patmore, Peter George, 64, 
64, 

Piazzi di Spagna, 12 
Pisa, 59 

Polidori, Jolin William, 63, 
Portsmouth, 4 

Protestant Cemetery, Rome, 
19. 

Reynolds family, 37, 61 
Reynolds, John Hamilton, 61, 
6L 

Reynolds, Miss, 87. 
Richardson, the Misses, 54 
Robinson, Caroline, 29, 30 
Romay, Mr , 52, 56. 

Rome, XV, xxvii, 12 


Rossim, Gioacchino Antonio, 
74. 

Rowecroft, Miss, 30, 68, 69, 
70,71 

Sandalls, John, xxin 
Sandoval, the Freemason, xxvi. 
Scott, John, 64, 64 
Severn, Joseph, xni, xiv, xv, 
XXI, XXVII, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 
12, 13, 14, 14, 16, 18, 19, 
20, 20, 24, 34, 35, 36, 69; 
extract from letter to Tay- 
lor, 27, describes Keats*s 
death, 28 

Shakespeare, William, 31, 32, 
32, 33, 39, 57, 62, 65, 66. 
Sharp, William, xiv 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 48 
Snook, John, 4 
Spenser, Edmund, 63, 66 
‘Swan and Hoop, The*, Moor- 
gate, XXlll 

Taylor, John, I, 2, 24, 27, 
financial assistance to Keats, 
16 

Torloma, 16. 

Trelawney, Edward John, 48, 
60. 

Tuckey, Miss, xxiii 

West, Mrs , 31 
Whitehursts, the, SO 
Wigram, Mr , and Sir Robert, 
34,34 

Woodhouse, Richard, 2 
Wylie, Henry or Charles, 42, 
42, 57. 



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